The Kremlin on Tuesday named First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov as Russia's new ambassador to China.
China is Russia's biggest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching $83 billion last year.
Denisov, 59, is replacing Sergei Razov, who is just one year older and will become ambassador to Italy. Razov had held the post in China since 2005.
Denisov has held his previous job at the Foreign Ministry since 2006. He earlier served as Russia's representative at the United Nations, deputy foreign minister and ambassador to Egypt.