Veteran diplomat takes on new job

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At 62, veteran diplomat Lyu Xinhua was given a new job: the spokesman of China's top political advisory body.

At 62, veteran diplomat Lyu Xinhua was given a new job: the spokesman of China's top political advisory body. [] 

Formerly a Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong, Lyu made his spokesman debut on Saturday at a press conference ahead of the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

In a one-and-half hour press conference, Lyu answered eight questions concerning various topics, ranging from China's polluted air to its economic impact on the world.

In an interview with Xinhua before the conference, Lyu acknowledged that he felt great pressure in assuming the new post, as it requires sophisticated communicational skills and a wide scope of knowledge.

"However, one thing is for certain: I will let the facts speak for themselves," said Lyu.

"It is my new mission to help more people understand China's system of socialist consultative democracy," he added.

At Saturday's press conference, Lyu took quite some time summing up CPPCC's achievements in the past five years before taking questions from reporters.

"The spokesman job is like a bridge linking CPPCC and the media from home and abroad," Lyu told Xinhua.

A well-travelled professional diplomat, Lyu has been to more than 140 countries across the world in his near 40-year diplomatic career, accompanying state leaders on many important foreign visits.

He said he also benefited professionally from his ten-year job as the secretary to Qian Qichen, a former foreign minister.

Lyu became more publicly known after taking the office of Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong in 2006.

During his tenure in Hong Kong, Lyu had frequent interactions with the local media, and held various activities aiming at cultivating patriotic pride among the region's youth.

On Saturday, two of questions at the press conference were related to Hong Kong -- one on city's political system and the other on the newly-adopted purchase ban on baby formula.

Beginning Friday, people leaving Hong Kong can take no more than two tins of infant milk formula with them.

The new rule was implemented following a severe shortage of some popular brands of baby formula in the city's retail market recently, largely due to surging demand of buyers from the mainland.

Twenty-five people had been detained by Hong Kong authorities for violating the ban as of Saturday morning.

The governments of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Guangdong Province as well as China's customs authorities have taken relevant measures, said Lyu, adding that "I believe these problems will be solved step by step."

"To explain a serious issue, one doesn't necessarily need to talk in a loud voice. A gentle and resolute way of speaking works better," Lyu said in the interview with Xinhua.

But the new spokesman did raise his voice on Saturday when responding a question about the relations between China and Japan.

Japan must be responsible for the consequences should any friction take place due to its disturbance of China's normal law enforcement activities around the Diaoyu Islands, Lyu warned in a noticeably strong tone.

"We will never recede on issues related with China's territorial sovereignty," he said.

He urged the Japanese leaders to stop making irresponsible remarks and make substantial efforts in improving the relations between the two countries.



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