It is a study room that is aimed at bringing together St Petersburg Chinese scholars and all those who study and love the language and culture of China.

According to Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, cooperation with China is strategically important for St Petersburg University. 'We have concluded agreements with almost 50 Chinese universities, with many corporations in China, as well as with the Chinese Ministry of Education,' said Sergey Andryushin. ‘It is thanks to this close cooperation that it became possible to open the Chinese Cabinet. Our Chinese students and teachers can come here and feel at home in this "Little China"'.

More than 2,000 Chinese citizens are currently studying at St Petersburg University and more than 1,000 students of the University study Chinese in more than 60 academic programmes with a Chinese component.

Thanks to the opening of the study room, it will be possible to attract more attention to Chinese culture and language in Russia. 'It is remarkable that the opening of the study room took place on the day of the Chinese Lantern Festival and at the same time on the international St Valentine's Day,' said Sergey Andryushin. ‘We can unite all lovers of Chinese culture and language in our University.’

Professor Li Xiaojuan, Vice President of Capital Normal University, stressed that China pays close attention to the development of China–Russia relations. 'The “Confucius Institute” non-degree programme at St Petersburg University was opened in 2007,' recalled Professor Li Xiaojuan. ‘Since that time, both countries have made great contributions in the field of cultural building, which is being implemented in line with the Belt and Road Initiative.'

According to Wang Wenli, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in St Petersburg, Chinese scholars of St Petersburg University, have been able to achieve outstanding results, backed by the University’s long tradition of Chinese language teaching.

There is a wonderful atmosphere of Russian-Chinese friendship at St Petersburg University. The opening of the Chinese Cabinet is a new point in the development of constantly enhancing Russian-Chinese humanitarian links. All those involved in this wonderful event are ambassadors of friendship and mutual understanding between our two countries.

Wang Wenli, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in St Petersburg

During the event, Professor Nikolai Samoilov, Director of the Centre for Chinese Studies at St Petersburg University and Head of Department of Theory of Social Development of Asian and African Countries at the University, delivered a lecture on the history of St Petersburg Chinese studies.

The Chinese Cabinet was created by academics and students from the ‘Design’ field of study at St Petersburg University. They used colour symbolism to create a collective image of the traditional interior of the Celestial Empire.

The design of the newly opened Chinese Cabinet is inspired by Chinese culture and will become a great venue for various cultural and scientific events.

Khe Fan, Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Chinese Philology

More than 300 people are currently enrolled in the non-degree programme ‘Confucius Institute", and more than 1,300 people have taken the HSK Chinese language exam at St Petersburg University. After graduation, about 80 people received scholarships from the government of the People's Republic of China to study at Chinese universities. About 150 cultural events which were attended by more than 100,000 people have been organised since the beginning of the project. Great success has been achieved in the promotion of contemporary Chinese literature. Also, St Petersburg University maintains China–Russia relations by participating in and organising theatre and film festivals in Russia. About 20 teachers of Chinese studies at the University are engaged in literary translation and almost half of the translations of Chinese authors published in Russia and in the Russian language are made by professors or graduates of St Petersburg University.

During the event, the organisers recalled the popular Chinese expression 'Peaches and plums filled the Celestial Empire' (Chinese 桃李满天下). It symbolises the successful work of an educational institution that produces many distinguished graduates. They wished that the Chinese academic programmes at the University would continue to generously give ‘peaches and plums’ to Russia and China.