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27 Mar, 2007 22:38

Hu Jintao teaches Chinese in Moscow school

Hu Jintao teaches Chinese in Moscow school

His visit to Moscow may be mainly about trade, but China's President Hu Jintao found time on Wednesday for a Chinese lesson at a Russian school where every third-grader speaks Chinese.

President Hu is continued his three-day visit to Moscow, and he and Vladimir Putin had a busy day strengthening economic ties and giving lessons of friendship.

In the Kremlin the Russian President hosted guests from the Shaolin Monastery in China. A big fan of judo, Vladimir Putin didn’t miss the opportunity to show that Russia also has something to offer in the field of martial arts, and presented the guest knives traditional for Russia.

But despite all the ceremony the main goal of this visit is to strengthen business ties. Earlier in the day, the two presidents unveiled an exhibition of everything modern China has to offer.

One of the most interesting exhibits is the Hongqi – or Red Flag – a Chinese luxury sedan produced by the First Automobile Works. Powerful engine, leather chairs, state-of-the-art audio system – the precious brand-name comes with a hefty price tag.

“In China, we sell these cars for $US 90,000 each, mostly to government officials or business executives,” says Ding Lei, FAW Export Director.

China’s National exhibition turned out as colossal as the country itself. But 20,000 square meters and 200 participants were barely enough to show how much is really made in China.

The showcase of China’s economic might left the leader of the Russian communists Gennady Zyuganov both impressed and disappointed.

“China now is like the Soviet Union in the 1970s. If only had we managed to combine market economy with the state planning, if only had we allowed businessmen to do their thing, nobody would be able to compete with us today,” he believes.

Trade between Russia and China grows by more than 10% every year so far. With both governments dedicated to building a closer partnership, Chinese dragon and Russian bear seem to have all chances of becoming good friends for years to come.