Edited By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

Last Updated: December 31, 2022, 14:56 IST

China’s newly appointed foreign minister Qin Gang wants to help stabilise rocky relations between Beijing and Washington but remains hawkish on US support for Taiwan (Image: Reuters)

Qin Gang is known in Beijing for not beating around the bush and has warned earlier that if the US supports Taiwan’s independence struggle , it will lead to military conflict between China and the US

Qin Gang, former ambassador to the United States and a close, trusted aide of Chinese President Xi Jinping has been appointed as its new foreign minister. Qin, who is 56-years-old, replaces foreign minister Wang Yi, and becomes one the youngest foreign ministers in Chinese history.

“In solving challenges common to all of mankind, China’s diplomacy will offer Chinese wisdom, Chinese initiatives and Chinese strength,” Qin said following his appointment as new foreign minister.

Wang Yi was promoted to the politburo of the Chinese Communist Party in October and will continue to play a major role in Chinese foreign policy.

A report by NPR said Qin is one of the main architects of China’s ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’. The news outlets in its report cited an incident from 2008 when Qin Gang shut down a reporter when questioned about the American hard rock band Guns n Roses studio album’s name – which was titled ‘Chinese Democracy’.

China considers the album a ‘venomous attack’ on the nation and when asked, Qin said the music was ‘raucous’ and ‘noisy’. “Many people don’t like this kind of music because it’s too raucous and noisy. I’m guessing that you’re a mature adult, aren’t you?” Qin told the reporter.

His straightforward nature and clever handling of tough questions has made him a popular figure back in China. A former student of the University of International Relations in Beijing, Qin has also worked as a journalist and was the spokesperson and the deputy director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Information Department between 2005-2010.

Speaking to China News in 2013, Qin defined diplomacy as a ‘complex and systematic work’. “It can be hard with some softness, or soft with some hardness. It can also be both hard and soft. As time and situation change, the two may transform into each other,” Qin was quoted as saying by China News.

He also enjoys an enormous Twitter following and has also been seen engaging in discussions regarding the future of mankind with Twitter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

He also served twice at the Chinese embassy in London in the 2000s as secretary and minister.

He played an important role in Chinese foreign policy when he was working in the foreign ministry in Beijing. He led the Protocol Department and was responsible for arranging Xi Jinping’s meetings with world leaders.

He also served as vice foreign minister in 2018, before taking up the role of Chinese envoy to the US.

However, now his challenges will concern the US. Qin, who once said that the door of China-US ties cannot be closed, will host his American counterpart Antony Blinken who will visit China early 2023.

(with inputs from NPR)

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By Justin

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