China's ambassador to India elevated as vice foreign minister

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Press Trust of India Beijing
Outgoing Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, who played a crucial role in normalising ties between India and China following the Doklam standoff in 2017, has been elevated as vice minister of foreign affairs.
Announcing Luo's appointment as the vice foreign minister, China's State Council or the Central Cabinet said Kong Xuanyou, who is the vice foreign minister, has been posted as the ambassador to Japan.
Meanwhile, speculation is rife here that China plans to appoint veteran diplomat Sun Weidong as the next ambassador to India.
Sun who specialised in China and South Asia-related issues for a long time, served as the ambassador to Pakistan till recently. He is currently the director general of planning department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The Indian ambassador to China, Vikram Misri hosted a lunch for Sun and his team at his residence on May 24. The official announcement about his appointment is expected shortly.
Luo's predecessor Le Yucheng was also made vice minister of foreign affairs. Luo is due to return on transfer.
Luo, who started his stint in India in 2016, played a crucial role in normalising ties between the two countries following the Doklam standoff, the most serious military face-off in decades between the two countries.
Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam that began on June 16, 2017 after the Indian side stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army in the disputed area. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.
Vice foreign minister Kong played an active role during the India-Pakistan tensions following the Pulwama terrorist attack in February and later visited Islamabad and held talks with Pakistan civil and military leaders to defuse the crisis.
Pakistan later awarded the civil award "Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam" to Kong in recognition of his contributions to the development of China-Pakistan relations.
Meanwhile, it is not clear yet who would represent China at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second term swearing in ceremony in New Delhi on Thursday.
Asked who would represent China at the event, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang told media here that if we have the information we will give you in due course.
He recalled that China has already congratulated Modi on his re-election.
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Prime Minister Modi on his election victory and vowed to work with him to take the bilateral ties to a new height.

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 4:10 PM IST

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