BEIJING, March 7 (RIA Novosti's Alexei Yefimov) - There is an ethnic Russian at the People's Political Advisory Council of China. That is Nikolai Lunev, Russian school headmaster in Yining, or Kuldja.

Mr. Lunev lives in the Ili-Kazakh autonomous area of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and represents China's entire ethnic Russian community in parliament, he said in a Novosti interview. He entered parliament, 2003, on a five-year term.

The Chinese election legislation specifies representation quotas for every ethnic minority.

Mr. Lunev has dedicated his parliamentary efforts to convincing China's authorities of a necessity to promote the special economic zone in the Ili-Kazakh autonomous area. "We are dynamically establishing joint ventures with overseas partners, and Russian-based companies are starting their offices in the area," he said.

Ethnic Russians mainly concentrate in Xinjiang's frontier areas-the Ili, Altai and Tarbagatai districts.

"China saw three waves of immigration from Russia. It started with tradesmen from tsarist Russia, who chose to settle here for good. Next came White Guards, who retreated to present-day China from the advancing Red Army. Peasants appeared in 1932-33 as they fled from Soviet farm collectivization. A majority of Russians returned to the USSR within the initial years after the People's Republic of China was established, and many went on to Australia or the United States," Lunev said to Novosti.

Our interviewee's grandfather was a Siberian born and bred. He fled to China in 1932. Nikolai was born in the family's adoptive land. "My family set root in China more than seventy years ago," he remarked.

A sizable community of immigrants from Russia emerged in China's west in the 1930s, of a diverse ethnic composition. Ukrainians and Byelorussians were settling side-by-side with Russians, he went on.

"We are speaking a very particular idiom, as the result. When I went to Russia in 1993, the people there said I had an outlandish accent. I explained it was merely a mixture of the various Russian dialects."

Meticulously correct, Mr. Lunev's spoken Russian really has an outlandish phonetic touch. Specially striking about it is an utter absence of the latest coinages, which abound in the present-day Russian vernacular, the way it is spoken in his ancestral country.

Nikolai Lunev has a perfect command of Chinese, yet he said it was sheer pleasure to speak Russian, as he was talking to our correspondent during the current People's Political Advisory Council session in Beijing.

The Russian school of Kuldja has close on a hundred pupils, and employs sixteen teachers. "There are not only Russians in it-in fact, it is a multiethnic school," said its principal.

There are presently an approximate 13,500 ethnic Russians naturalized in China, say official statistics. Several tens of thousands lived in Kuldja early in the 20th century. Now, the community has shrunken to several hundreds.

Other ethnic Russian communities are in Xinjiang-six to seven thousand; and in the Nei Monggol (Inner Mongolia) autonomy, in the environs of Hailar.

The People's Political Advisory Council is China's supreme consultative body. It is in no competence to pass laws, but its sessions debate crucial legislative initiatives to evaluate their expediency.

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