President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Xi, Chinese and Russian friends,
I have heard a great deal about the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. It is a truly magnificent celebration, bringing together a huge number of people and dozens of countries around the world who are all united by a common idea: an idea of what the city of the future will look like.
It is symbolic that the exhibition is being held in Shanghai, one of the most fascinating and distinctive cities in the world, a city that has undergone a radical transformation in the past decade. I can see this for myself because the last time I visited Shanghai was in 2001. In 2010 Shanghai is certainly an entirely different city. It is a city that has absorbed a wide variety of traditions and has become one of China’s largest cultural and industrial centres, skilfully combining the ancient history of China with the most advanced achievements of mankind.
The theme of the exhibition is Better City, Better Life. Naturally, it corresponds to our time, our reality and our ideas about our future direction and development. I want to say that the exhibition’s theme certainly has great meaning and relevance for the Russian people. Cities have always played a key role in the development of civilisation. Over the centuries, cities have retained their historical identities and true individuality. I hope the visitors to the Russian pavilion have seen this for themselves.
I think the motto chosen for our exhibition is also symbolic: A Better City is the One Where Children Are Happy. It is patently true for any nation and any country, including the Russian Federation. After all, our children really are our future; they are the ones who will build new cities, achieve brilliant successes in science and industry, and create a new life and preserve friendly relations.
This exhibition is also a vivid manifestation of the fact that we have entered the age of cities’ transformation. This is a unique opportunity to accelerate the modernisation of our economies and our institutions, and innovative development is the firm choice of our country. We have been moving along this path and we will do everything to modernise our country and our economy, to change and adapt it to modern life.
Relations between Russia and China are now at their highest point. Our relationship can truly be described as good; we are strategic partners, as confirmed by the current visit of the Russian President to China. The very fact of visiting this exhibition is yet another demonstration of friendship between the Russian and Chinese peoples.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our Chinese partners for the organisation and their professional assistance and support provided to the Russian exposition. Over five million people have already visited the Russian pavilion, while in total the World Expo has attracted more than 60 million visitors, and, as Mr Xi Jinping has just told me, this figure will most likely grow to 70 million. This is a true demonstration of the unity of our intentions and our desire to develop friendly relations and to improve our civilisation.
I would like to thank you once again for your assistance and support and wish you every success and prosperity. I am confident that the expo will be a huge success and everyone who visits it will be satisfied and full of memorable impressions.