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Vladimir Putin meets Xi Jinping in China state visit as Ukraine sees war setbacks - BBC News Vladimir Putin meets Xi Jinping in China state visit as Ukraine sees war setbacks - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
You’re probably familiar wtih Eurovision but have you heard of Intervision
Intervision was a short-lived annual singing contest that ran from the late 1970s to the 1980s that served as the Eastern bloc's answer to the Western-led pop music extravaganza. Putin’s trip has put the spotlight on Harbin, also known as China’s Ice city, which he is due to visit on Friday.
And it looks like it might be making its way back on TV, as Putin declared in an earlier interview with state news outlet Xinhua that he was working on large projects with China, including Intervision. It is the capital of Heilongjiang province, in the country’s extreme north-east.
“China is the key partner in this project, which aims to spread and popularise national song schools”, said Putin. Harbin is famous for its winter attractions. Its annual Ice and Snow Festival, which runs from December to February, features the world’s biggest ice sculptures. It has recently become the country’s most popular tourist spot during winter.
Before Putin's statement to Xinhua, the revival of Intervision had been reported by Russia's official news agency TASS, who says that Russia is scheduled to host this year's Intervision music contest, with organisers looking at seven countries to participate. The city also boasts of a rich Russian heritage, owing to a wave of Russian immigrants in the 1900s.
Their influence can be seen in Harbin’s architecture. One of Harbin’s landmarks, Saint Sophia Cathedral, is a former Russian Orthodox church built in 1907.
Harbin’s locals are familiar with Russian and Eastern European fare such as borscht, a rich, bright red stew. Local favourites such as hongchang or red sausage and dalieba bread were adapted from Russian recipes.
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