Chinese girls with their handicraft teacher at the Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center in Vladivostok, Russia on July 21 (XINHUA)
It has been 10 years since Russia invited the first 398 Chinese children traumatized in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake to the Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center in Vladivostok for rehabilitation.
Over the past decade, the China-Russia friendship has been brimming with new vitality as time goes by. The center, which is an epitome of the friendship between the young generations from China and Russia, also serves a special symbol of the friendliness of the two countries.
The Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center is a witness to the development of China-Russia relations.
The core of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination lies in equality, mutual trust, mutual support, common prosperity and lasting friendship. To achieve a lasting friendship is a common aspiration of the two countries and peoples, and it’s deeply rooted in their hearts.
After the occurrence of the Beslan hostage crisis in 2004 and the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, China and Russia immediately invited traumatized children from the other side for rehabilitation. It demonstrated the sound development of bilateral ties, and verified the Chinese saying that love is boundless.
The Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center is a practitioner of China-Russia long lasting friendship. It received almost half of the 1,500 primary and middle school students invited from the quake-hit areas such as Sichuan province in 2008. The center gave the Chinese children the most unforgettable memory of their lives.
At the center, they received the sincere friendship and love from their Russian peers, felt the warm and caring of families, and gradually forgot the pain they had suffered. As a result, the flowers of China-Russia friendship rooted and blossomed in their hearts.
In addition, the Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center is an organization that passes on the baton of China-Russia friendship. The Chinese children who had precious memory there still remember their Russian friends. They have broken the barrier of language and pulled hearts nearer through sincere communication and caring for each other. They also continued their profound friendship through letters.
The friendships established and stories happened at the center are nurturing the tree of friendship between peoples of the two countries, making special contribution to deepening and consolidating China-Russia friendship.
Today, these children have grown into the pillars of the society. Some of them went to Russian universities to renew their stories with the country, some of them devote themselves to childhood education to requite, and some others cherish the memory in their own ways.
I believe that the lasting friendship between Chinese and Russians, setting out again from the Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center, will be passed on from generation to generation and write a new chapter in history.
The author, Li Hui, is Chinese Ambassador to Russia
(People's Daily September 12, 2018)