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Russian Federation Council Chairman


  Ms. Matvienko laying a wreath at the monument in Jiefang Park

  Photo by Guo Liangshuo

  By Zheng Ruke

  A delegation headed by the chairman of the Russian Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, visited China recently. Wuhan was their first stop.

  On September 8, Ms. Matvienko visited Wuhan Planning Exhibition Hall, Wuhan Sino-Russia Cultural Exchange Center, and the Yangtze River Bridge.

  "Wuhan boasts a long history of interaction with Russia," said Ms. Matvienko after visiting the exhibition on the China-Russia tea route at the Wuhan Sino-Russia Cultural Exchange Center in Hankou. She tasted a cup of "brick" tea made in Yangloudong, Hubei. According to historical records, in the 1860s Russian merchants opened the first tea factory in Yangloudong to make "brick" tea, which was then shipped back to Russia for sale via the China-Russia Tea Route. Ms. Matvienko expressed her wishes for Russia and China to further advance their cooperation in the 21st century.

  There is much evidence of friendly exchange between China and Russia in Wuhan. A fine example is the first Yangtze River Bridge which was built under the supervision of the Russian expert Konstantin Sergeyevich Silin. Ms. Matvienko said she was very proud of it, as "this bridge is a witness of Russian-Chinese friendship".

  She also laid a wreath at the Monument for the Fallen Heroes of the Soviet Volunteer Air Force in Jiefang Park. After the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, a Soviet air force team came to Wuhan. During the battles, over 100 Soviet soldiers sacrificed their lives.