20 March 2018
In a sign that China is strengthening its foreign affairs team, Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been promoted to state councillor while retaining his current portfolio.
Mr Wang, 64, was appointed to his posts yesterday together with other members of the State Council, or Cabinet, at the annual session of the National People’s Congress, or Parliament. His appointment as state councillor was a recognition of his performance as foreign minister, said Associate Professor Li Mingjiang of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, adding that it showed Beijing wants to elevate the foreign policy apparatus in the party and government structure.
He expected that Mr Yang, in his capacity as deputy head of the foreign affairs leading group, would help coordinate state and party organs in foreign affairs matters.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing yesterday that the CCP was the authority in Chinese diplomacy and that Mr Yang would “continue to play an important role in foreign affairs”.
Prof Li noted that there was a need for a strong foreign affairs apparatus with “the rise of China, its enhanced presence in many parts of the world and more active involvement in global governance issues”. This is particularly so as President Xi Jinping’s agenda to make China great again includes making it prominent in international affairs, he added.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 21/03/2018