China makes 'silver fox' top diplomat, promoted to state councillor

Elias Hubbard
March 19, 2018

Before being elevated to State Councillor in 2013, Yang served as the Foreign Minister.

He replaces Yang Jiechi, China's former top diplomat, who was tipped for a leading role in managing Beijing's increasingly uncertain relations with the U.S. under President Donald Trump. Nominated by Premier Li Keqiang, Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua and Liu He were endorsed as vice premiers, while Wei Fenghe, Wang Yong, Wang Yi, Xiao Jie and Zhao Kezhi were endorsed as state councilors and Xiao Jie was endorsed as secretary-general of the State Council at the seventh plenary meeting of the first session of the 13th NPC. However, PTI quoted unidentified officials as saying that there will be clarity on this position only after an official notification.

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval is India's Special Representative. It's also a level high mechanism for exchanges between the two sides.

China and India by far have held 20 rounds of talks on their 3,448 km of disputed border. Foreign diplomats say he can be suave and charming, as well as tough.

China's chief diplomat also faces ongoing regional maritime disputes in the South China Sea, with Beijing facing criticism over its construction of artificial islands capable of hosting military equipment.

Previously China's foreign minister himself, Yang speaks flawless English but has a low-key public profile and rarely talks to foreign reporters.

Wang had previously served as China's envoy to Japan and worked at the Asia desk of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Wang's elevation was approved by China's largely rubber stamp parliament in a vote today.

Wang repeatedly slammed India during the 73-day military stand-off at Doklam in the eastern sector of their border a year ago. Wang said if China and India were united then one plus will be equivalent to 11, a remark welcomed by India and answered in the similar tone.

"The rights and wrongs are very clear and even senior Indian officials have openly stated that Chinese troops did not enter into the Indian territory", Wang had claimed. The solution to this problem is very simple: "conscientiously withdraw", he had said, indicating the tough stance of Beijing during the 73-day stand-off.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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