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Russia Welcomes Quake-affected Chinese Students

Hundreds of children from China's earthquake-hit provinces joined a group of Russian children in Vladivostok on Friday to kick-start their summer camp that will help the Chinese children rehabilitate after the quake.

At a children recreational center in Vladivostok, the children will participate in sports and cultural activities and learn the basics of each other's language.

A group of 364 Chinese students arrived a day earlier on charter flights from Beijing and Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Under the plan, a total of 1,570 Chinese children will travel to Russia during 2008 and 2009.

Speaking at a ceremony to launch the summer camp, Liu Guchang, China's ambassador to Russia, called the Chinese children's rehabilitation trip to Russia "an unprecedented event" in bilateral relations.

It fully demonstrated the Russian government's care for children in quake-hit region and the deep friendship between the Chinese and Russian people, Liu said.

Such a move will help promote youth exchanges between the two countries and have an important and far-reaching impact on the development of the strategic partnership between China and Russia, Liu said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 19, 2008)

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