Russia and China exchange experience in cooperation between municipalities
The First Russia-China Municipal Forum was held in Ryazan in June, initiated by the Union of Russian Cities and Friendship Cities Association at the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. Professor Yekaterina Shugrina, leading researcher at the Center for Local Government at RANEPA Institute of Management and Regional Development (IMRD), took part in the forum.
The municipalities’ forum was planned as a platform for strengthening dialogue and cooperation between regional and municipal authorities in Russia and China in such areas as urban development, the economy and business, culture and education. The Russian Foreign Ministry is supporting steps to expand cooperation with Chinese municipalities as part of the Years of Russian-Chinese Interregional Cooperation project (2018-2019). At present, 141 partnership agreements have been signed between cities in China and Russia.
The forum comprised three discussion platforms: Innovative tools for improving the quality of municipal governance; Investment appeal of cities and municipal-private partnerships in Russia and China: the use of advanced technologies in the modernization of housing and utilities; and Improving personnel policy: development of cooperation in education.
Dr. Shugrina moderated the platform on Innovative tools for improving the quality of municipal governance. She also made a presentation at the last plenary session. The expert noted that at present, both Russia and China have a great deal of good municipal practices aimed at improving the quality of local management. These include inter-municipal (including international and cross-border) cooperation and public diplomacy; strategic planning; and new management techniques such as project management and digitalization. Dr. Shugrina added new management tools to this list, such as Big Data, Smart City, Safe City, and Eco-Friendly City, the residents’ involvement in consultations and decision-making at the municipal level, and working with personnel. Representatives of Russian and Chinese municipalities discussed these and other tools during the forum.
About 70 representatives from 13 provinces of China and more than 80 representatives of municipalities in the Russian Federation took part in the Russia-China Municipal Forum. The event was attended by Governor of the Ryazan Region Nikolai Lyubimov, Vice President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and China International Friendship Cities Association Xie Yuan, Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Civic Chamber Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Federative Structure and Local Government Alexei Didenko, Secretary General of the China International Association of Cities and Twin Cities Qing Boming, President of the Union of Russian Cities Stanislav Mosharov and Ryazan Mayor Yulia Rokotyanskaya.