Caixin
Jul 17, 2020 07:39 PM
SOCIETY & CULTURE

Former Ambassador Tapped as Spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry

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What’s new: Wang Wenbin, China’s former ambassador to Tunisia, was appointed a spokesperson at the foreign ministry Friday.

Wang replaces Geng Shuang, who left the post in early June and subsequently became China’s deputy representative at the United Nations in New York.

Wang, 49, served as China’s top diplomat in the North African country for two years. Prior to his ambassadorship, he worked at the ministry’s policy planning department for eight years, including five years as a deputy director from 2013 to 2018. He also worked at China’s cabinet, the State Council, for three years.

The background: Wang’s appointment comes at a time when the ministry has been criticized for its “wolf-warrior” diplomacy, which refers to the offensive statements made by a generation of younger diplomats in defending the country’s national interests.

The former ambassador will team up with two of his colleagues: Chua Chunying, the head of the ministry’s spokesperson office, and Zhao Lijian who was at the center of a diplomatic row between Beijing and Washington over the origin of the new coronavirus.

In March, Zhao promoted a conspiracy theory in a Twitter post that the U.S. military might have brought the virus to China, which he later deleted.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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