BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, both in Hangzhou, spoke highly of an ice hockey game played in Beijing between two professional teams from China and Russia on Monday night.
Xi said that the game is of great importance in boosting the cooperation between the two countries in winter sports.
Ice hockey exchanges between the two countries will help China raise the standard of the game and better prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Xi added.
Putin praised China for cherishing sports culture and attaching great importance to healthy life style, adding that this professional game will help popularize the sport.
Beijing-based Kunlun Red Star, a newcomer to the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), beat Admiral Vladivostok from Russia 6-3 as the host to a KHL game for the first time.
The KHL, an international professional ice hockey league founded in 2008, is widely considered as a premier professional ice hockey league in Europe and Asia. It now comprises 29 member clubs based in Russia, Belarus, Croatia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Slovakia and China. The Gagarin Cup is awarded annually to the champion at the end of a season.