New Russian envoy vows to boost relations

Updated: 2013-05-31 02:35

By ZHOU WA (China Daily)

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Russia's new ambassador to China, Andrei Denisov, has promised to improve Beijing-Moscow relations based on mutual political trust.

Asking "Did you have a good lunch?" in Chinese, Denisov greeted reporters in a traditional Chinese way at his debut news conference, held by Russian Information Agency Novosti on Thursday in Beijing.

New Russian envoy vows to boost relations

Andrei Denisov, Russian ambassador to China

Denisov speaks fluent Chinese and has a keen interest in Chinese culture. Though he made his opening remarks in Chinese, he remained modest, saying his Chinese is "just so-so".

The new ambassador began to develop his China links in the 1960s.

Born in 1952, Denisov began to learn Chinese in 1969 because he "is fond of Chinese culture, the history of the Communist Party of China and even traditional Chinese calligraphy".

Before graduating from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1974, he went to former-Soviet Union's trade representative office in China in 1973 and worked as a translator for half a year.

"At that time, if someone told me that China would develop to its present power in 40 years and I will experience this all by myself, I would have totally not believed that", said Denisov, applauding the efforts China has made to achieve development.

In 1978, he was sent to China again, working at the commercial section at the Soviet Union's embassy in Beijing. He saw himself as a witness of China's policy of reform and opening-up, which was clarified at the third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in the same year.

He was sent to China again in 1992 and 1997, experiencing China's fast development under the reform and opening-up policy.

Although he has worked as a professional diplomat for many years, Denisov told reporters in Chinese that "he is not a bureaucrat", adding that he attaches great importance to cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

Zhang Yimou, Gong Li and Karwai Wong are all on the list of Chinese movie directors and actors to whom he pays attention, while he hopes that more Russian audiences can learn about China through the Chinese artists.

Denisov also emphasized communication between young generations of the two countries, saying the future is in the hands of the youth.

His China link has also wielded an influence over his family.

"My daughter likes Chinese language, too, and her Chinese is better than mine," the new ambassador said.

He said his daughter even asked to go to China after Denisov and his family went back to Russia after he ended his China stay in 1997.

Denisov has been working in Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1992 and has held various diplomatic posts in the central office of the ministry and abroad.

From 2000 to 2001, Denisov worked as Russian ambassador to Egypt and was appointed deputy foreign minister of Russia in 2001.

From 2004 to 2006, Denisov went to the United States as the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations in New York, and the representative of the Russian Federation on the UN Security Council.

Ending his UN term in 2006, Denisov served as first deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Russian Federation until April.