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President Xi's close ally Wang gets key diplomatic role

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

Amid the China-US tussle over trade tariffs, Chinese has given a key diplomatic role to his close ally and Wang Qishan, who carried out a massive anti-graft campaign in the last five years.

Wang, 69, has been made member of the headed by Xi.

Wang, who is valued for his "firefighting skills", would play a leading role in foreign affairs after he left his previous post spearheading the party's anti-corruption drive, Hong Kong-based South Morning Post reported today.

Earlier reports said Xi may send Wang, who reportedly enjoy close rapport with several US officials, to to take part in the trade talks along with Chinese

Wang has already been meeting top foreign dignitaries visiting

He had met last month when she visited to attend the Foreign Ministers meeting of the (SCO).

At the meeting, Xi highlighted the current uncertainty in international affairs and stressed that the foreign affairs commission will play a leading role in China's diplomacy.

Xi has already elevated the role of diplomacy during his second five tenure starting in March this year. has been elevated to become State Councillor, a top diplomatic posting in The previous State Councillor, Yang Jiechi, has become member of the powerful politburo of the ruling (CPC).

The first meeting of the commission was held amid Liu's visit to the for a second round of trade negotiations.

The dialogue seems to be making headway as US in a tweet during the weekend said he is working along with Xi to help Chinese firm to get back into business.

"President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done," he said.

Today, he defended his decision with another tweet saying that "ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual parts from U.S. companies. This is also reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship with President Xi."

The last month blocked ZTE, a major supplier of and smartphones, from importing American components for seven years. The US accused of misleading American regulators over sanctions against and

China had protested over the action against at trade talks in By cutting off access to US suppliers of essential components such as microchips, the ban threatens ZTE's existence, the company has said.

China yesterday welcomed Trump's comments to reconsider the decision.

The two countries are trying to avert a trade war after Trump has begun pressuring China to reduce the USD 375 billion bilateral trade deficit. He has been calling on China to reduce the trade deficit by USD 100 billion with in a month and USD 200 billion by 2020 failing which he would impose tariffs on Chinese products.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 18:40 IST