BEIJING: China on Friday named US Ambassador Qin Gang as its new foreign minister, state media reported, bringing in a top diplomat known for speaking tough against the West.
The 56-year-old replaces Wang Yi, who has been the face of Chinese diplomacy since 2013.
Qin had been Beijing’s top proxy in Washington since last year, tasked with getting the relationship between the world’s two largest economies back on track.
Qin, from the northeastern city of Tianjin, has earned a reputation as a “wolf warrior,” a nickname given to Chinese diplomats who vehemently hit back at Western nations they perceive as hostile.
He said that in 2020 China’s image in the West had deteriorated because Europeans and Americans, particularly the media, had never accepted China’s political system or its economic rise.
Qin was a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for several years.
He frequently rubbed shoulders with President Xi Jinping prior to 2018 in his role as head of the foreign ministry’s protocol department.
He also served as vice chancellor between 2018 and last year.
Qin has previously presented a view of China as a country that has little to learn from the West, and has invoked its history as a victim during the Opium Wars of the 19th century.