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Yang Xiong Meets Russian Ambassador
    On the afternoon of the 18th, Mayor Yang Xiong of Shanghai met with Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov at the city hall and extended a warm welcome to the Ambassador. 
    Yang said that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has kept good momentum in the past years. During the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) recently held in Shanghai, the two countries have agreed on a series of important cooperation initiatives to further strengthen their bilateral relationship. Shanghai and St. Petersburg have been sister cities for over two decades, and the Pearl of the Baltic Sea, a local project invested by Shanghai companies, has achieved smooth progress. Last year, the two cities renewed their memorandum of understanding on sister city relations, and city-level cooperation has since then continued to evolve. In addition, both Moscow and Moscow Oblast have expressed their intention to work closely with Shanghai, and Shanghai in turn is willing to play a greater role in the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. Nowadays, the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is progressing steadily. The implementation of new reform measures such as the FTZ account will bring more conveniences to companies’ trade and investment activities, and further enhance the economic and trade cooperation between Shanghai and Russia. 
    Denisov thanked Shanghai for extending great hospitality to the Russian delegation participating in the CICA Summit, and praised Shanghai’s critical role in the China-Russia relationship. He said that Shanghai’s Four Centers initiative and the FTZ have both attracted wide attention in Russia, and promised to promote his country’s relationship with China and in particular cooperation with Shanghai. Andrey Smorodin, Russian Consul General in Shanghai was also at the meeting.