Published: 16:08, May 15, 2024 | Updated: 17:08, May 15, 2024
Putin says he knows quite a bit about Chinese martial arts
By Xinhua
In this file photo dated March 22, 2006, Russian President Vladimir Putin (sitting at center) watches the demonstration of Shaolin kung fu by two monks in Shaolin Temple in Central China's Henan province. (PHOTO / AP)

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believes Russia and China have been inextricably linked for centuries, both by an extensive common border and by close cultural and people-to-people ties.

On the eve of his two-day state visit to China, which starts on Thursday, Putin stated in a written interview with Xinhua that Russia and China are promoting the prosperity of both nations through expanded equal and mutually beneficial cooperation in economic and cultural fields.

The years 2024 and 2025 are designated as the Years of Culture between Russia and China.

In this file photo dated Feb 4, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin (background left) watches a performance by students of the Martial Arts Centre sport school in Cherepovets, Russia. (PHOTO / AP)
In this file photo dated March 22, 2006, Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) listens to an explanation by a monk in Shaolin Temple in Central China's Henan province. (PHOTO / AP)

Today, he said, there is high interest in Chinese culture and arts within Russian society.

Putin noted that approximately 90,000 Russian students at various educational levels are learning Chinese, and tours and exhibitions involving Chinese artists have been highly successful. The number of tourists between the two continues to surge, with over 730,000 Russian citizens visiting China last year, he added.

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In this file photo dated June 9, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin (second left), accompanied by Russia's energy giant Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller (first left), visits a martial arts academy in Sochi, Russia. (PHOTO / AFP)

"I know that people in China are also keen to get acquainted with Russian literature, art and traditions. Our eminent theatre groups and musicians regularly perform in China, museums organize their exhibitions, and Russian films are run in cinemas. We are most willing to introduce our Chinese friends to historical, artistic and cultural heritage of multi-ethnic Russia in all its diversity," Putin said.

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The Russian president also shared his personal appreciation for Chinese culture. "I am always eager to discover China's unique and authentic traditions, especially during my visits to China. I know quite a bit about your martial arts, including wushu, which is very popular in our country. I also have respect for Chinese philosophy. My family members are also interested in China, and some of them are learning Chinese."