[Overview] Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation. Standing in the middle of the East European Plain, across the Moskva River and its tributary the Yauza River, the city covers an area of 2,560 square kilometers and has a population of 12.3 million.
[Politics] Moscow is governed by the City Duma and the City Government. The City Duma (i.e., city council) consists of 35 members and its chairman is elected by secret ballot. The term of office of both the members and the chairman is four years. The City Government is the executive body of local administration. The city has 12 districts under its jurisdiction. The incumbent Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, took office for the first time in 2010 and was re-elected for the second term in 2013 and for another five-year term in September 2018.
[Economy] Moscow is Russia's largest industrial city as well as financial and commercial center. The city has a mature secondary sector, including well-developed heavy industry and chemical industry. Machinery and instrument manufacturing contribute to more than 50% of the gross output of the city's entire secondary sector. The city is also the largest military industry center in Russia, with developed aviation, aerospace, and electronics industries. There are more than 1,000 commercial banks in the city, making up 50% of the national total. The city also has 85% of the country's financial assets and 90% of the country's investment and business activities. Moscow is ranked first in Russia by foreign investment and GDP. The city has a sound public transportation system and is the transportation hub of Russia.
[Culture and Education] Moscow is Russia's education, science and technology center, as well as a historically and culturally renowned city. It is ranked among the world's top cities by the proportion of citizens with a bachelor's degree or above. There are many institutions of higher education in the city. The Russian Academy of Sciences and more than 90 of its research institutes are located in Moscow. Famous universities in the city include Moscow State University and the People's Friendship University of Russia. The Russian State Library, formerly Lenin Library, is one of the largest libraries in the world. There are many cultural and sports facilities in the city, including over 350 theaters, concert halls, museums, and exhibition halls. The world-famous Bolshoi Theatre and its Bolshoi Ballet are also based in Moscow.
[Relations with Beijing] On May 16, 1995, Beijing and Moscow officially became sister cities. Since then, the two cities have maintained close ties and engaged in frequent exchanges and cooperation in investment, trade, science, technology, education, urban planning and development, city administration, judicial affairs, and culture. In 2012, Moscow joined the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) which was established on the initiative of Beijing.
Investment and Trade: Moscow held the Moscow Week in Beijing in 2006. Beijing held the Beijing Week in Moscow in 2007. The two cities organized large-scale business networking activities on the sidelines of these events. In March 2007, Beijing sent a delegation to Moscow to participate in the Chinese National Exhibition and hold a trade promotion conference. In 2012, Moscow held an investment promotion meeting in Beijing, attracting hundreds of companies in Beijing. The meeting played an important role in encouraging Beijing-based companies to invest in Moscow.
Science and Technology: Since 2009, Beijing and Moscow have held four China-Russia Urban Security Technology Seminars to exchange technologies and experience in urban security system deployment, urban traffic safety, and cybercrime investigation and evidence collection. In 2017, Beijing attended a meeting on sustainable urban development and energy efficiency held in Moscow to encourage cooperation between the two cities in the field of energy technology.
Legislation: In 2000, the Beijing Municipal People's Congress and the Moscow City Duma signed a friendly exchange agreement. In 2011 and 2015, the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress sent a delegation of deputies to people's congresses at local levels to Moscow to engage in exchanges with members of the Moscow City Duma, deepening cooperation between the two sides.
Culture: In recent years, cultural exchanges between the two cities have become more frequent, and they have co-organized many cultural festivals or other cultural activities. From 2012 to 2013, within the framework of the China-Russia Year of Tourism Program, Beijing and Moscow sent 50 families to each other's city to take homestay vacations. In March 2012, at the opening ceremony of the Year of Russian Tourism held in Beijing, 50 Russian families were invited to take a homestay vacation in Beijing from September 29 through October 4, 2012. The homestay exchange became a highlight of the Year of Russian Tourism in China. President Xi Jinping spoke highly of the homestay exchange when addressing the opening ceremony of the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia held in March 2013. He said, “These Chinese and Russian families live together like relatives and have developed deep friendships. They are reluctant to part with each other. I believe that they will cherish this beautiful experience forever.” During Moscow Week 2017 held in Beijing, the two cities jointly organized more than ten events including special forums, promotion conferences, performances, cultural activities, and sports competitions. In 2018, the Beijing Day event was staged in Moscow. A host of activities, including forums on urban rail transit, investment and trade, youth sports competitions, and urban development, tourism promotion conferences, “Charming Beijing” exhibition, trade show on Beijing's time-honored brands, traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy exhibition, “Beijing Night” concert, were organized in response to the important consensus reached by the Chinese and Russian heads of state on co-organizing the 2018-2019 China-Russia Year of Local Cooperation and Exchange.