Xi arrived at the main venue of the Great Hall of the People at around 5:00 p.m. Beijing time and waved to Putin, who had joined in from the main venue of the Kremlin.
Second, Xi suggested the two countries deepen scientific and technological cooperation on nuclear energy by sticking to the driving force of innovation.
Nuclear energy cooperation is a traditional priority cooperation area for China and Russia. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the project is the biggest China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation project to date. Zhao said it represents a high level of practical cooperation between the two countries, adding that the successful beginning of the construction of the four units demonstrates the constructive cooperation outcomes in high-end equipment manufacturing and science and technology innovation between the two countries.
Third, he called for adherence to strategic collaboration to promote the coordinated development of the governance system of the global energy industry. He said that it is necessary to promote the building of a global energy governance system featuring justice, equity, balance, inclusiveness, openness and shared benefits, and contribute more solutions to global energy governance.
For his part, Putin expressed warm congratulations on the start of the construction of the Tianwan nuclear power plant and the Xudapu nuclear power plant. He said that Russia has the confidence to work with China to smoothly and safely advance the project's construction.
Xi put forward a three-point proposal at the ceremony. First, he called on both sides to adhere to the principle of safety first and set a model for global nuclear energy cooperation.
After the Russian representatives reported to the two heads of state that the equipment is ready to be installed, President Putin issued the instruction "Start!"
Xi stressed that energy cooperation has always been the most important area of practical cooperation which generates the largest achievement and covers the widest scope between the two countries.
Gavrilin Alexander, a Russian engineer, said he has been working on the Tianwan nuclear power plant since 2003 and highly anticipates that the construction of units 7 and 8 could be completed and put into operation at an early date. He said the new units are "much more powerful, advanced, and safer."
The Chinese representatives at the sub-venue of the Tianwan nuclear power plant and the sub-venue of the Xudapu nuclear power plant then reported to the two heads of state that preparations for the start of construction are completed.
The event on Wednesday is also the first online bilateral exchange at the head-of-state level between the two sides since the beginning of this year. It is of great significance in guiding the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era to maintain high-level development, spokesperson Zhao said.
Speaking at the ceremony, Xi extended congratulations on the launch of the China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation project and paid high respect to the constructors from the two countries.
Besides, since nuclear energy is clean and efficient, the four units will effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Deng Hao said this cooperation project demonstrates that China and Russia take the same stand on combating global climate change and realizing green development.
It will also contribute to coping with global climate change and realizing the sustainable development of humanity, Putin added.
President Xi issued the instruction "Start!"
Noting that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between the two countries, Putin said Russia-China relations reached their best level in history. He added that the consensus reached between President Xi and himself has been well implemented with increasingly broader cooperation areas.
In recent years, the world has slowed down the pace of building new nuclear power plants. Experts believed that China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation will become a highlight in the global nuclear power industry and help boost worldwide confidence in this energy development.
Xi and Putin delivered their speeches respectively.
It is necessary to construct and operate the four units with high quality and high standards, create a global benchmark in nuclear safety, give full play to complementary advantages, expand and deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on nuclear energy, and contribute more to the development of the global nuclear energy industry, he said.
"Responding to climate change is a common task for all countries," Xi said, adding that China and Russia should promote more low-carbon cooperation projects and play a constructive role in achieving global sustainable development goals.
Noting that nuclear energy is the strategic priority for bilateral cooperation and a series of major projects have been completed and put into operation, Xi said the four nuclear power units that kicked off construction on Wednesday mark another major landmark in China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation.