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New Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu makes his debut
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15:58, February 25, 2009

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Ma Zhaoxu appeared for the first time as a press spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Ministries regular press conference held yesterday afternoon. Not long ago, he succeeded Liu Jianchao to become Director-General of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ma wore a dark blue suit and a blue tie today. According to routine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' regular press conference usually starts at 2:45 pm. However, Ma arrived at the press conference hall 15 minutes early and greeted the Chinese and foreign journalists.

Ma said that although today is his first day hosting the press conference, he felt that seeing the journalists was like meeting old friends. He will do his best in this position and will work together with journalists to promote communication and understanding between China and the world.

Ma received both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Peking University, where he majored in international economics. After graduation, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has served in several departments of the Ministry as well as held overseas postings such as at the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, the Chinese Embassy in the UK and the Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union. Before being appointed Director General of the Ministry's Information Department, he was Director General of the Policy Planning Department of the Ministry.

Some 20 years ago, Ma was a celebrity. In 1986, Ma, who was about to graduate with a major in international economics from Peking University, took part in the first Asian Varsity Debate started by the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation. He won the best debater trophy and the media described him as someone with charming manners. Ma made a name for himself overnight, and even started a debating craze among university students all across China.

By People's Daily Online

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