Chinese vice-premier Li Langqing has called for increased cooperation in higher education between China and Russia to enable the two countries to "continue to contribute to world civilisation" in the developing information and communication era.
Mr Li, who was on a visit to Russia, addressed a Moscow conference of representatives of Russian universities. His visit was part of the Chinese-Russian rapprochement inaugurated by Russian president Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing in July.
In addition to military, trade and economic cooperation, the countries also planned a bilateral committee at the vice-premier level, covering education, science, culture and sport. In acknowledgement of Mr Li's role in promoting the higher education part of the deal, the conference opened with his formal appointment as an honorary professor of Moscow State University.
The establishment of the bilateral committee and its first meeting also took place during last week's visit. Mr Li, as co-chairman, suggested various forms of cooperation, including sending more lecturers and visiting scholars to work on joint projects at higher education and research institutions, and developing student exchanges.
Mr Li also had his eye on practical technologies. He visited St Petersburg, where he spoke in glowing terms of that city's expertise in nuclear power engineering, and Nizhny Novgorod, which in Soviet times was a "closed" city with a strong base of military-related research.