Innovation, transport and struggle against COVID-19: Moscow and Beijing sign a cooperation programme

December 9, 2020
Interregional and international affairs

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Beijing Mayor Chen Jining signed a programme of cooperation between the Moscow Government and the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality for 2021‒2023.

The signing ceremony took place via videoconference during the Moscow-Beijing New Time - New Opportunities online forum. The forum was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of friendly partnership relations between the Russian and Chinese capital cities.

“I am very happy that, despite the difficulties facing the world and our cities, our cooperation has not stopped. On the contrary, it has become even stronger,” noted Sergei Sobyanin.

According to the Moscow Mayor, cooperation is vigorous in urban development, transport, economic management, education and science. In addition, Sergei Sobyanin said Moscow is ready to share its experience in organising transport during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Beijing is the venue of the Winter Olympics in 2022.

Photo by Vladimir Novikov, Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

Chen Jining pointed out the importance of enhancing cooperation in science and technology, and the innovation and humanitarian areas, as well as the opportunities for engagement in supporting investments and digitization.

“As the capitals of our countries, Moscow and Beijing should play the leading roles in developing our relations. What was achieved by heads of state should be implemented. Contacts and cooperation between people should be made stronger. Last year we opened Daxing, Beijing’s second international airport. It provides opportunities for increasing the number of passenger and cargo flights. Hopefully, more Beijing residents will go to Moscow and more Moscow residents will come to Beijing,” said Chen Jining.

The main areas for cooperation between Moscow and Beijing in 2021–2023 will be the exchange of experience and the implementation of joint projects in areas like trade, economic and innovation cooperation, scientific and technological innovation, education, urban planning, transport, public health, tourism, culture and mass media.

The programme includes, in part:

- establishment of a database for sectoral experts in certain areas for exchanging scientific and technical expertise;

- development of cooperation in the humanities through teacher and student exchanges and the organisation of training and joint research;

- exchange of experience in controlling city transport, trip planning during the Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing in 2022 and in the provisions for transport;

- exchange of experience in the prevention and control of COVID-19 incidence, including treatment and diagnosis.

“We will hold a Russian-Chinese competition in innovation and entrepreneurship in 2021. We will review the results in Beijing and in Moscow. I am happy that we have worked out a new cooperation programme for the next three years; it will enable us develop relations quicker and more specifically in the key, and most important areas for our cities. In particular, in education, health protection, science and utilities,” added Sergei Sobyanin.

25 years of partnership

Moscow-Beijing bilateral relations are based of the agreement to establish friendly partnership relations of 16 May 1995. During the forum held to mark this anniversary, city administration officers in both capitals will discuss opportunities for implementing joint projects in innovation, science, the economy and transport.

Plans include the signing of an agreement on cooperation between the Moscow and Beijing metros for another five-year term. Within the framework of this agreement specialists will continue to regularly share their expertise in the infrastructure development and adoption of state-of-the-art technologies in the metro systems.

The forum will culminate in an online gala concert with the participation of the Bolshoi Theatre Chamber Orchestra, the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra, and the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. The concert will be aired by Russia’s Culture TV channel and China’s BTV.

Trade relations

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, trade between Moscow and Beijing has grown 10 percent over the first nine months compared to the same period in 2019 totaling $20.5 bln with $1.46 bln in exports from Moscow and $19 bln in imports from China.

In September 2020 the Moscow Innovation Cluster and the Zhongguancun technology hub signed an agreement via videoconference on cooperation in innovation, research and development for cutting-edge science and technology. This was one of the practical steps on implementing the joint initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on holding the Years of Russian-Chinese Scientific, Technical, and Innovative Cooperation in 2020-2021.


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