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Russia increasingly popular with Chinese tourists

October 13, 2014, 9:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The number of Chinese visitors to Russia in 2013 for the first time exceeded one million, a Russian government source says

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© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. The vast majority of foreign tourists in Russia come from China, a Russian government source said on Monday ahead of a meeting between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in Moscow.

“The number of Chinese visitors to Russia in 2013 for the first time exceeded one million,” he said. “Last year, China ranked second by the number of foreign tourist arrivals to Russia (370,000 trips). But already in the first half of 2014, China established itself as a leader. More than 500,000 Chinese citizens visited Russia, and more than 135,000 of those trips were made for tourism purposes.”

Chinese students are particularly interested in Russia. Some 804 Chinese citizens were enrolled in state-funded places in Russian universities in the 2014-15 academic year. About 25,000 Chinese nationals are currently studying in Russian universities.

“There are plans to gradually increase university quotas for students from China to 1,000 people,” the source said, noting some 15,000 Russians citizens undertaking internships or full-time studies in China. Most Russian students are studying in China's north-eastern Heilongjiang province bordering Russia.

“Exchanges of pupils, students and university professors are constantly expanding. Russian and Chinese colleges and universities are strengthening direct ties,” he said. “More than 900 partner contacts have been established by now, involving 120 universities from Russia and about 600 from China."

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