Qin Gang replaced by new foreign minister Wang Yi
Many on the international stage will recognize Wang Yi as China’s new foreign minister, replacing Qin Gang.
In his role as head of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party, 69-year-old Wang is already China’s top diplomat.
China’s foreign minister is not the most authoritative voice in its diplomatic affairs, unlike in many other countries.
It is also the director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, a post Mr Wang continues to hold, who has more say over foreign policy formulation within the Chinese Communist Party.
A post he held for most of the past decade is now his again.
Mr Wang is known to the US as one of the leading “wolf warrior” diplomats – who engage in combative rhetoric against those who cross Beijing.
He said Washington’s misperceptions about China have led to misguided policies toward China in a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June.
China-US relations have been ups and downs, and it is necessary for the United States to reflect on itself and work with China to manage differences and avoid strategic surprises.
As a student at Beijing International Studies University, Mr Wang majored in Japanese and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the age of 29.
He served as China’s ambassador to Tokyo from 2004 to 2007.
In 2013, he became China’s first foreign minister after leading the nation’s policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office from 2008 to 2013.
He warned that the Chinese government would make the Czechs “pay a heavy price” for their short-sighted behavior and political opportunism in 2020, when the Czech senate president Milo Vystril visited Taiwan.
Prague responded by calling Chinese leaders “unmannered rude clowns”.
According to some observers, Wang’s reappointment is an attempt to stabilize Chinese diplomacy as it emerges from Covid-induced isolation and engages in thawing frosty relations with the US.
As Xi prepares for major international meetings, he chose someone who has relationships with many of his foreign counterparts. According to Rorry Daniels, a senior fellow at the Center for China Analysis, China wants predictability and continuity in this position during times of uncertainty.
A China studies senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations added: “Wang Yi has held the [foreign minister] post before. He’s clearly a fireman or caretaker who has been sent in to keep Chinese foreign policy on track.”
As a very, very capable official, I’m confident he will do that.