Wang Yi 王毅
Foreign Minister, State Councilor
Responsible for implementing China’s diplomatic offensive to soften government positions on Tibet and deter them from meeting the Dalai Lama.
Pronunciation: Wong Yee
Born: 1953, Beijing
Education: Served in Northeast Construction Army Corps in Heilongjiang Province for 8 years, then studied Japanese at Beijing International Studies University, graduating in 1982.
Career: A long career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, specialising in Asia, with stints in Japan, including serving as Ambassador 2004-2007. From 2008 was Director of the Taiwan Affairs office of the State Council.
Prospects: Appointed a State Councillor in March 2018; an unprecedented promotion for a serving Foreign Minister.
Relevance to Tibet: Will implement China’s diplomatic offensive to soften government positions on Tibet and deter them from meeting the Dalai Lama.
Standing in the Party and Career Highlights:
Wang Yi is a member of the 19th CPC Central Committee. He was made a State Councilor (replacing Yang Jeichi who joined the Politburo) in March 2018. He has been serving as Foreign Minister since March 2013. He is the first serving Foreign Minister to also be on the State Council. Media commentators speculate that with Yang Jeichi, Wang Qishan and Liu He, diplomacy is being given a major boost. Wang will reportedly take over from Yang as chief negotiator on border talks with India.
Wang’s experience in Japan is clearly considered valuable, given China’s long-running dispute over the Diayou/Senkaku Islands in the South China Sea. In his first speech as Foreign Minister, Wang said China will firmly safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests of the nation while holding up high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit.
In June 2016 Wang hit the headlines during a visit to Ottawa, with his public berating of a Canadian journalist who had asked a question about human rights in China. According to the Guardian; “I have to say that your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance … I don’t know where that comes from. This is totally unacceptable,” he said through an interpreter. He continued, visibly angry. “Other people don’t know better than the Chinese people about the human rights condition in China and it is the Chinese people who are in the best situation, in the best position to have a say about China’s human rights situation.”
Wang Yi’s Contact Information:
- Address: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, No.2 Chaoyangmen S. Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100701.
- Website: www.fmprc.gov.cn
- Phone: + 86 10 6596 1100 or 6596 1566
- Fax: + 86 10 6559 1516
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