Beijing, December 30: China has appointed its US envoy Qin Gang as the new foreign minister to succeed incumbent Wang Yi, who has been elevated to the Political Bureau — the ruling Communist Party’s top policy body. It is, however, not clear whether Qin, 56, will take over the post immediately. Wang, 69, has been elevated to the high-power Political Bureau of the CPC, making him the country’s top diplomat.
“Congratulations to H.E. Qin Gang @AmbQinGang for his appointment as China’s new Foreign Minister! Looking forward to a splendid new chapter in China’s diplomacy,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson and Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying tweeted. US Road Accident: 2-Year-Old Dies in Crash at Las Vegas, Indian-Origin Mother Battles for Life; Investigation Underway.
The announcement was a surprise as the new administration to be headed by the new Premier is scheduled to take over during the annual Parliament session slated to be held from March 5 next year.
A new central cabinet called the State Council, replacing the present one headed by Premier Li Keqiang, will take charge during the annual session of the country’s parliament — the National People’s Congress (NPC) — scheduled to be held from March 5.
Except President Xi Jinping, all top officials and ministers will be replaced during the Parliament session. Li, 67, will formally retire after completing his 10-year stint. Li Keqiang is widely expected to be replaced by Li Qiang, 63, a close associate of President Xi who has been elected for an unprecedented third five-year term in the once-in-a-five-year CPC congress held in October.
Xi is the only leader after Mao to continue in power after a 10-year tenure as all his predecessors retired to promote new leadership in the party. Li Qiang is ranked second after Xi in the all-powerful new seven-member Standing Committee. Qin who was previously the spokesperson of the foreign ministry and later rose to the rank of Vice Minister is closely associated with Xi in the last 10 years, accompanying him on all his foreign tours. US Travel Restrictions for Chinese Visitors Are ‘Discriminatory’: State Media.
He has already been inducted into the influential Central Committee of the CPC and together with Wang, he is expected to play a major role in shaping China’s diplomacy in the coming five- years. Qin could also succeed Wang as Special Representative for the India-China Border mechanism. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is currently the Special Representative of India.
Known for his aggressive style in articulating China’s foreign policy goals, Qin is fluent in English and features regularly in US television networks on China-related issues.
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