Russian envoy awards Order of Friendship to China's ex-finance minister

BEIJING, December 11. Russia's Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov awarded on Tuesday the Order of Friendship on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the chair of the Chinese National Council for Social Security Fund and former finance minister, Lou Jiwei.

The awarding ceremony was held at Russia's Embassy in China, a TASS correspondent reported.

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"This Order is given for special achievements in enhancing peace, cooperation and mutual understanding between nations and for a big contribution to fulfilling major projects and attracting investments in our country's economy," the diplomat said.

"Since the beginning of the policy of reforms and openness China has achieved a great success. We can say the life of Lou Jiwei is closely related to this process. He personally made a great contribution to strengthening and fostering China's economy, establishing its financial system, which is today one of the largest in global dimension," Denisov said.

In Russia, Lou Jiwei is known not only as a Chinese former finance minister, but also as one of founders of the Russian-Chinese Investment Fund. "One can say without exaggeration that the fund, set up with the active participation of Mr. Lou Jiwei, became one of the most powerful channels of bilateral investment cooperation," he said, noting that the fund significantly bolstered Russian-Chinese economic cooperation.

"Russia appreciates your achievements and contribution to deepening bilateral cooperation," the ambassador said. "I'm sure that our huge experience and your knowledge will be always in demand, including for enhancing Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation," the diplomat said.

Lou Jiwei expressed gratitude for recognizing his achievements and also said that it's a great honor for him to receive the Order of Friendship.

"Now the world is facing serious changes and challenges for development, and also difficult problems and hardships. In this situation, China and Russia should take joint efforts under a consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to enable Russian-Chinese relations of all-encompassing strategic partnership and cooperation to reach new heights in their development," he said.

Lou Jiwei, 67, served as the Chinese finance minister in 2013-2016.