MOSCOW, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang has called for enhanced tourism cooperation between China and Russia.
"China and Russia should take the opportunity of the 'China-Russia Tourism Year' to promote bilateral cooperation in tourism and the two countries need to work together to continuously consolidate popular support for the China-Russia friendship," said Wang, who is visiting Moscow to inspect preparations for the "Tourism Year of China" in Russia.
Wang said Russia was the first stop of Xi's maiden overseas tour as president of China, which showed Chinese leaders attached great importance to the development of China-Russia relations.
Xi and his counterpart Vladimir Putin, are expected to attend the opening ceremony of the "Tourism Year of China" in Russia, which Wang said was one of the key events in this year's China-Russia cultural exchanges. He urged both China and Russia to work together to guarantee the successful holding of the opening ceremony.
Wang said the "Tourism Year of Russia" in China last year was very successful and it aroused Chinese people's enthusiasm for visiting Russia. According to Russian statistics, the number of Chinese tourists to Russia increased 47 percent in 2012 on a year-on-year basis.
Wang said he was sure the "Tourism Year of China" in Russia this year would help increase the number of travellers between the two countries.
During his visit, Wang met separately with Russian Deputy Prime Ministers Olga Golodets and Dmitry Rogozin.
Russia has said it believes Xi's visit will help push Russia-China ties to a higher level, and Russia will spare no effort in working with China to guarantee the success of the opening ceremony.
Review: 12th CPPCC National Committee opens
Review: News conference on new CPPCC session
CPPCC members arrive for opening session
A beautiful China also world's common desire
China's reform roadmap gets clearer
Japan warned not to cause friction with China