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Scholars from Russia and China discussed areas of cooperation under conditions of the pandemic

On May 11-12, annual International Scientific Conference and Workshop "Russia and China: History and Prospects for Cooperation" took place in Blagoveshchensk. During 11 years of its existence, the conference has turned into an important scientific event, which brings together social science researchers from Russia, China and neighbouring countries.

Organizers of the conference are Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical University and Heihe University of China. The event takes place with the support of the Gorchakov Fund.

This year, the plenary session and the roundtables were orgaznied simultaneously in Blagoveshchensk (Russia) and Heihe (China). The scholars were able to discuss important issues during a videoconference. A cross-cutting theme of the plenary session and the subsequent roundtables was sustainable development and international cooperation under conditions of the pandemic. Representatives of the largest thinks tanks and educational institutions in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok together with Chinese experts from research centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Harbin attended the event.

Dr. Alexey Maslov, Executive Director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies RAS, emphasized during his presentation that China had been successfully coping with consequences of the pandemic and had ended up in a list of countries, which had been able to continue their economic growth.

Dr. Guan Guihai, Executive Vice President of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies (IISS) and Director of the Center for Modern Russian Studies at Peking University, and several of his colleagues mentioned lack of detail in certain Russian-Chinese projects and also a weak conceptual framework of economic cooperation, for example, in the area of agriculture. The overall tone of the event was an urge to search for new forms of cooperation and additional "calibration" of the old ones.

The main goals of the conference are expansion of research studies on the topics of development and cooperation between Russia and China, strengthening of the academic dialogue, exchange of experience among scholars from both countries, and search for common points of interests allowing to develop cooperation in arts and humanities. Around 150 authors from Russia, China, Poland and Vietnam had submitted their reports to the conference.

The Russian delegation visited the cross-border highway and river bridge Blagoveshchensk-Heihe as part of the sightseeing program. Russia and China had been building the bridge simultaneously and each side had built a half of the bridge over the Amur River.