China appointed its Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang as the country’s new foreign minister, according to state media. The 56-year-old replaced Wang Yi, who has been China’s top diplomat for the past decade.

After Qin’s appointment, he will return to Beijing from Washington after 17 months.

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Who is Qin Gang?

Before Qin Gang became the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he served as the vice minister of foreign affairs between 2018 and 2021, and the Chinese Ambassador to the United States between 2021 and 2022.

Qin Gang was born in Tianjin in March 1966. He received a Bachelor of Laws in international politics from the University of International Relations in 1988.

After graduating, Qin worked as a staff member at the Beijing Service Bureau for Diplomatic Missions.

He began working as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992. Later, he worked at the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom as Secretary and Counselor from 1995 to 2005. He also held the position of Deputy Director-General and spokesman at the Foreign Ministry Information Department from 2005 to 2010.

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In September 2010, Qin was appointed as the Envoy of the People’s Republic of China to the United Kingdom. The following year, he returned to Beijing to serve as the director general of the Foreign Ministry Information Department. From 2014 to 2017, he served as the Director General of the Foreign Ministry Protocol Department. In July 2021, he became the 11th Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States.

Little is known about Qin’s personal life. According to local reports, he is married and has one son.