Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin witness the ground-breaking ceremony of a bilateral nuclear energy cooperation project, Tianwan nuclear power plant and Xudapu nuclear power plant, via video link in Beijing, capital of China, May 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
BEIJING, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony of a bilateral nuclear energy cooperation project, Tianwan nuclear power plant and Xudapu nuclear power plant, via video link.
Xi arrived at the main venue of the Great Hall of the People at around 5:00 p.m. Beijing time and waved to Putin, who had joined in from the main venue of the Kremlin.
He Lifeng, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and head of the National Development and Reform Commission, co-chaired the ceremony with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
Heads of relevant departments, local officials and constructor representatives of China and Russia attended the ceremony from the sub-venue of Tianwan nuclear power plant in Lianyungang City, east China's Jiangsu Province, sub-venue of Xudapu nuclear power plant in Huludao City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, and two Russian sub-venues. The heads of the companies of both countries reported on the progress of the project to the two heads of state.
Xi and Putin delivered their speeches respectively.
Speaking at the ceremony, Xi extended congratulations on the launch of the China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation project and paid high respect to the constructors from the two countries.
Noting that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, Xi said that he and President Putin have agreed to advance the development of bilateral relations to a higher level and expand the ties to broader fields.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic unseen in a century, China and Russia have firmly supported each other and cooperated closely and effectively, which is a vivid demonstration of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, he said.
Xi stressed that energy cooperation has always been the most important area of practical cooperation which generates the largest achievement and covers the widest scope between the two countries.
Noting that nuclear energy is the strategic priority for bilateral cooperation and a series of major projects have been completed and put into operation, Xi said the four nuclear power units that kicked off construction on Wednesday mark another major landmark in China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation.
Xi put forward a three-point proposal at the ceremony. First, he called on both sides to adhere to the principle of safety first and set a model for global nuclear energy cooperation.
It is necessary to construct and operate the four units with high quality and high standards, create a global benchmark in nuclear safety, give full play to complementary advantages, expand and deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on nuclear energy, and contribute more to the development of the global nuclear energy industry, he said.
Second, Xi suggested the two countries deepen scientific and technological cooperation on nuclear energy by sticking to the driving force of innovation.
He urged deepened cooperation on the basic research, key technology research and development, and transformation of innovative achievements in the field of nuclear energy, such as nuclear environmental protection, nuclear medicine, nuclear fuel and advanced nuclear power technology, so as to promote the deep integration of the nuclear energy industry and the new generation of digital technology, and contribute more wisdom to the innovative development of nuclear energy globally.
Third, he called for adherence to strategic collaboration to promote the coordinated development of the governance system of the global energy industry. He said that it is necessary to promote the building of a global energy governance system featuring justice, equity, balance, inclusiveness, openness and shared benefits, and contribute more solutions to global energy governance.
"Responding to climate change is a common task for all countries," Xi said, adding that China and Russia should promote more low-carbon cooperation projects and play a constructive role in achieving global sustainable development goals.