Lilia Yanark, 60, became the youngest member to join the Soviet Communist Party when her application was approved on her 18th birthday. A dedicated cadre in Moscow until just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yanark has since lived in London and New York, eventually becoming a successful international businesswoman. Today, she hopes to become a member of the Chinese Communist Party to make sense of her past. Why do you want to join the Chinese Communist Party? I was born and grew up in a country where the Communist Party originated; I lived and worked in the free economy of the West. I have experienced both worlds. The Communist Party in Russia today is not the one I joined, believed in, and served for so many years. The country is changing and developing; but rather than modernising it, the Communist Party has destroyed it. When Russia opened up, it turned to the model of the United States, rather than China. In one stroke, my leaders destroyed everything, and they did not know how to rebuild it. It's very painful to realise that what you believed in has come to nothing. I feel there's something missing in my life, my ideals. What I lost, I have found in China. Many people in Russia went back to religion to replace the loss of the Communist Party. When many big successful business owners heard that I wanted to join the Chinese Communist Party, they said they wanted to join too. The Chinese Communist Party has shown me that my belief in socialism is not lost, and that socialism can adapt to modern development. I think the party is doing some good and I want to be a part of it. If you become a Chinese Communist Party member, what will you do? I will try to do everything to set a good example, and share my personal experiences of both the pros and cons of socialism and capitalism with my comrades. I will learn Chinese, definitely. See I have here a Russian version of a book by Jiang Zemin on party development in the 1980s and 1990s. I also have an English version of Mao Zedong's 'Little Red Book'. I don't know to whom I should apply. But I've expressed my wish to some people. It has been done before. So I think it is possible. When was your first contact with China? From childhood I have had a soft spot for China. I remember I was nine years old, in a class with 42 other students. One day, the teacher said we were going to discuss international relationships, and stressed how important it was to develop friendships. The teacher said we could choose any country and write letters to the children. I was the only one who chose China. I wrote a letter to Peking School No 1, sixth grade, first student on the class list. Three or four months later, I received a letter from a boy, with a photograph of him, his mother and two sisters. He told me he liked sports, reading and physics. His name was E Fen. The letter was written in Chinese, and I had to send it to Moscow's Centre for Children for a translation. It was 1960. I wrote back but soon the relationship between the Soviet Union and China cooled and we never heard from each other again. What are you doing in China? For the past three years I have been promoting worldwide a new Canadian technology of needle-less injection systems. This brought me to China, where I have been setting up a joint venture in Jiangsu province. I started my company, OrbitInvest, in London in 2002, and have since been focusing on 'new technologies'. It's not just about making money, but also doing good for people and the environment. I am now also promoting a new waste treatment technology developed in the United States. It can treat every type of waste: sewage, garbage, industrial waste, plastics, etc, and turn it into fuel.