We are publishing comments by Sergey Kukharenko, Director of the Institute for Public Diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific Region, Head of Academic Unit of the Confucius Institute at Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical University, member of the Gorchakov Club:
“Spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 has become one of the most serious challenges both for Russia and the majority of world’s countries. Consequences of the COVID-19 spread will still need to be assessed.
I am currently in the city of Blagoveshchensk in the Far East, on the border with the People’s Republic of China. The city is separated from China by only 700 meters of the Amur River. Russian citizens can stay for 30 days without a visa in the near-border Chinese town of Heihe. China has over 80% of the goods turnover in the Amur region. A significant part of cultural public events in Blagoveshchensk take place with the participation of Chinese representatives.
10% of students at the university where I work are Chinese. Over 300 students and schoolchildren study Chinese at the Confucius Institute at the Center of Chinese Language and Culture Studies, which was established at the university in cooperation with the Chinese partner university.
Thus, ties with China penetrate almost all areas of the life of our city. My work, above all, is associated with China. In 2015, being part of the delegation of the Gorchakov Fund, I was able to visit the town of Wuhan, which has recently become so famous.”
Read more in Russian here