New ambassador replaces Wang Yi, who was China’s top diplomat for the past decade.

According to state media, China has appointed its ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, as its new foreign minister.

Qin, 56, replaces Wang Yi, who was China’s top diplomat for the past ten years.

Wang, 69, was elected to the Chinese Communist Party’s politburo in October and is expected to play a greater role in foreign policy.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
Wang Yi has been foreign minister since 2012 [Lukas Coch/EPA-EFE]

A rising star in the foreign ministry, Qin has risen to various positions, including as spokesman for the ministry and at the Chinese embassy in Britain.

A trusted aide to President Xi Jinping, Qin also served as the leader’s chief protocol officer between 2014 and 2018.

He will now return to Beijing from Washington after 17 months as China’s 11th ambassador to the US.

In an essay published this week in the US bimonthly magazine National Interest, Qin outlined China’s stance on foreign policy and reiterated that China-US relations were not a zero-sum game.

Qin’s stay in the US has been underscored by rising tensions between the world’s two largest economies, even as their leaders attempted to resume diplomacy in recent weeks.

At the meeting, Biden indicated that the US believed China was undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and wider region and endangering global prosperity by taking “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions against Taiwan.”

On December 23, Wang, in his role as Secretary of State, accused the US of an “old routine of one-sided bullying”. in a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The US State Department said Blinken and Wang discussed the “need to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the US-PRC.” [People’s Republic of China] relationship”. They also expressed “concern about Russia’s war against Ukraine and the threats it poses to global security and economic stability”.

“By standing with the international community to promote peace and talks, we will continue to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis in our own way,” China’s foreign ministry quoted Wang as saying to Blinken.

The US military said on Thursday a Chinese fighter jet had flown within twenty feet (20 feet) from a US Air Force surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea earlier this month.

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