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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 10:07, January 31, 2005
Lao Xi: China, my hometown
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Ten years ago, a sixty-year-old expert and scholar in fluorine chemical industry came all the way from Russia to work in China; ten years later, he became the first foreigner awarded with the title of "model worker" in east China's Zhejiang province. On December 8, 2004, he got his "Green Card", the permanent residence permit for foreigners in China, issued by China's Ministry of Public Security. He is the acting assistance to the president of the Designing Institute under Russian Applied Chemistry Scientific Center and deputy general manager of Zhejiang Fluorochemical Co, Ltd Mr. S.D. Nikifrovich.

  • Gentle but strict "head coach"

    All employees with Zhejiang Fluorochemical Co, Ltd kindly call this Russian deputy manager "Lao Xi", and Li Sheng, the company's general manager usually calls him "head coach".

    Deputy general manager Chen Zhibin still remembers the moving scene: when he was a technician in the installation section, he and other: young technicians could not thoroughly understand professor Lao Xi's explanation on the structure and the operational principle of a set of special equipment for they had never been abroad and seen any real equipment. Two days later, when Lao Xi explained again on the equipment, they surprisingly found there was a clear equipment model before them. It was Lao Xi who spent two nights on making a model of the equipment in accordance with a certain proportion with a piece of paper from old wall calendar for students' better understanding. Lao Xi was lit up when he found his students have grasped the essence.

    Although the "head coach" is well known for his gentleness, sometime he could also be very strict. During the trial run period, he personally climbed up the equipment of dozens meters high with young employees, watching and analyzing the changes of various working parameters of the production equipment. Once an operator did not work in accordance with the rules, he stood there with face turning red as if he were going to fly into rage. He treated colleagues just as in the past afterwards though he often lost his temper during work. As he put it, people working in fluorine chemical industry like us could not be careless.

  • A workaholic devoted to fluorine chemical industry

    In May 2002, 70-year-old Lao Xi went to Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang province, to have an operation due to health problem. When thinking about the board meeting that happened to open at that time, Lao Xi implored the physician-in-charge to take out the stitches and wanted to leave hospital immediately. Leaders from both China and Russia urged him to stop working so as to look after his health and take a good rest. However, he said that the key issues such as the confirmation of joint venture concerning many aspects including technology development and business management were to be addressed at the meeting, so he must be present. When he showed up neatly dressed in western suit at the meeting on time, all the participants present burst into prolonged applause.

    Unfortunately, his affectionate wife died of disease in January 2003 in Juhua. He talked to himself repeatedly that she died only four months ahead of their golden wedding anniversary. A few days before his wife's death, he even destroyed the first calculation draft by mistake due to confusion and upset. Colleagues did not blame him. However, he resumed his work two days later and finished calculation on schedule. In February 2004, he carried his wife's bone ashes back to Russia. Party leaders and colleagues all urged him to take more rest this time in Russia. But the calculation work on the technological renovation of several projects was still in his mind. He boarded a plane heading to China soon after his wife's funeral. Last May, on the day of the 50th anniversary of their marriage, friends held a small party in memory of his missed wife. The words failed him due to the care from colleagues and later he burst into tears before everybody. He was fully aware that all the sacrifice and contribution were for his beloved ��

  • Granted with ID card in China, his second hometown

    Lao Xi has developed a strong feeling with China in the past 10 years' work here. When colleague's baby was born, he would make a slight bow with hands folded in front, saying "Gongxi" (Congratulations in Chinese). When everybody offered its help to an employee, who suffered from severe kidney disease and thus needed to change a new kidney, Lao Xi also made donation like everyone else did without saying a word. When Lao Xi got to know that Jiuhua County in Quzhou, Zhejiang province was severely affected by catastrophic mountain torrent, he voluntarily donated 300 yuan to the affected region.

    On festival occasions, Lao Xi's home was decorated like most of traditional Chinese houses, spring festival scrolls pasted on the doorframe and a reversed "Fu" Chinese character, symbolizing good fortune and blessing, on the door. He also put on bright red or purple Tangzhuang, (a kind of traditional Chinese-style cloth), to celebrate the lunar Chinese New Year. Last July, he went to Jiangxi province with chief Party leaders and they visited the old site of Jinggangshan Revolutionary Base with great interest.

    It is said that contribution goes without border and friendship lasts forever. Colleagues said that they have already treated Lao Xi as one of them. Lao Xi was very proud that he has got the ID card in China, his second hometown. "That is because I can have hot pepper and use chopsticks," added Lao Xi.

    By People's Daily Online

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