China-Russia economic cooperation has great potential: CMG president
"This piece of cheap hotel soap illustrates the great potential of China-Russia economic and trade cooperation," Shen Haixiong, the president of China Media Group, said on Wednesday at a forum for the fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Russia's Far Eastern port city Vladivostok.
Shen Haixiong, the president of China Media Group (2nd right), speaks at a media forum at the fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. [Photo: China Media Group]
During his stay at a local hotel, Shen was surprised to see that the cheap rough soap in his hotel bathroom was made in France. "The straight-line distance from Paris to Vladivostok is more than 10,000 kilometers across the Eurasian continent. Just looking at the cost of the logistics, it's definitely much more expensive than the cost of transporting it from across the Suifen River in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, only 200 kilometers away from Vladivostok," Shen said. The hotel soaps provide a good example of the opportunities for cooperation between China and Russia in the Far East because, as Shen pointed out, Russia could either import them from China or set up a local Sino-Russian manufacturing joint venture that provides jobs to local people.
Shen said that China and Russia have complimentary economic strengths, which could enable great opportunities for cooperation. He said that media outlets from both countries should work harder to provide more effective information for enterprises looking to take advantage of the region's potential.
Shen Haixiong, the president of China Media Group, is interviewed by Russian media outlet RT TV at a media forum at the fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. [Photo: China Media Group]
Shen's comments sparked discussion among the guests at the forum. Dmitrii Kiselev, the director general of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency, said many Russian people have a deeply Eurocentric view of the world, which is why they would be drawn to buying products like French soap. But he said that China's development in recent years has started to change this view: "I think China and Russia can accelerate cooperation, and we should look east towards the Asia-Pacific." This was echoed by Vladimir Solovyev, the chairman of the Russian Journalists' Association, who noted that China's development has its own unique characteristics and can provide learning opportunities for other countries.