BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met Friday with visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, ahead of the debut of the "Year of Russian Language" in China.
In the "Year of Russian Language", the two nations will hold more than 260 cultural exchange activities in 14 provinces, four autonomous regions and four municipalities in China.
The activities include language and singing contests, art performances, literature and arts exhibitions and the launch of a Russian-language TV channel.
In his opening remarks, Wen said the fifth China-Russia trade promotion conference held Friday morning was successful and had fruitful results.
He said he believed the opening ceremony of the "Year of Russian Language" in Beijing, scheduled for Friday night, would be a success and a good start for the Years of the Chinese and Russian Languages.
Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev announced the start of the two language years on Dec. 31.
China is holding the "Year of Russian Language" this year, while Russia will stage the "Year of Chinese Language" in 2010.
Wen said China and Russia had boosted cooperation and communication as well as their strategic and cooperative partnership in recent years, which laid a foundation for cooperation in dealing with the financial crisis.
Wen urged the two sides to implement cooperative projects involving energy, finance and infrastructure and maintain growth momentum in trade so as to create conditions for the long-term economic development of the two countries.
He also called for more coordination in international affairs.
Zhukov said Russia and China had expanded their strategic cooperation, especially in the area of energy resources.
He believed the "Year of Russian Language" would promote understanding and friendship of the two peoples as well as the strategic and cooperative partnership.
After the discussion, Wen met with the Russian and Chinese students who were scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of the "Year of Russian Language" on Friday evening.