Chinas special envoy diplomacy has added new members.
On November 1, foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang announced at a regular press conference that in order to promote the sustained, healthy and stable development of China EU comprehensive strategic partnership, strengthen exchanges in various fields and pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation, the Chinese government decided to establish a special representative for European affairs, and appointed ambassador Wu Hongbo as the first special representative.
Why does China set up a special representative for European affairs at this time?
From Chinese diplomats to international civil servants
Lets introduce the new ambassador first.
There are two special experiences in his career.
One is to witness the return of Hong Kong. From 1983 to 2000, Wu Hongbo participated in the negotiations between China and Britain on Hong Kong from a junior diplomat as a translator to the chief negotiator of China.
After the return of Hong Kong, Wu Hongbo successively served as counsellor of the Special Mission Office of the Ministry of foreign affairs in Hong Kong and director of the Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan of the Ministry of foreign affairs.
In the CCTV talk show on December 22, 2018, Wu Hongbo recalled this experience when he mentioned that the British asked for sovereignty transfer outdoors because they were afraid that there would be no wind and the flag would not fly when the flag was raised indoors. But Hong Kongs June and July are often heavy rain, how to solve it?
The other is to serve as Under Secretary General of the United Nations.
In 2012, Wu Hongbo, 60, was recommended as UN under secretary general. At that time, he successively served as the deputy director general of the Western Europe Department of the Ministry of foreign affairs for one year, the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines for one year and seven months, the assistant foreign minister in charge of European regional affairs, information and consular work for two years, and the ambassador to Germany for three years. Although he has rich bilateral experience, Wu Hongbo is still a newcomer to the United Nations that needs multilateral diplomatic experience.
In the middle of the conversation, ban asked Wu Hongbo, do you think the UN under secretary general is an athlete or a manager? Wu Hongbo blurted out manager.
He explained that many people criticized UN officials as golden oil and they knew a little about everything, but they didnt know much about specialized research. But on the contrary, if you are only an expert in a specific field, it may lead you astray, unable to bear the burden of the United Nations. Therefore, the Under Secretary General of the United Nations, especially the Under Secretary General in charge of the Department of economic affairs, pays more attention to management capacity.
After the interview, Wu Hongbo changed from a Chinese diplomat to an international civil servant and became the eighth Chinese to serve as UN deputy secretary general.
On June 8, 2017, UN Secretary General Guterres appointed Liu Zhenmin from China as UN under secretary general for economic and social affairs to replace Wu Hongbo.
Two and a half years after leaving the UN, the former international civil servant returned to his familiar European position.
Why is the special representative for Europe established at this time?
According to Geng Shuang, as two important forces in the world, China and the EU have formed a pattern of all-round, multi-level and wide-ranging cooperation. They have important consensus and broad common interests in maintaining multilateralism and free trade and building an open world economy.
We start with China EU trade and high-level exchanges.
From the perspective of economic and trade exchanges, China and the EU are important economic and trade partners, and the EU has become Chinas largest trading partner for 15 consecutive years.
In 2018, China EU bilateral trade reached a new high, with total import and export reaching US $682.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 10.6%. As of February this year, the EU has invested US $132.18 billion in China, which is the third largest source of foreign investment in China. China has invested US $95.2 billion directly in the EU, which is the second largest destination of foreign investment in China.
In addition, China and the EU have also carried out active cooperation in trade, investment, finance, infrastructure, third-party market cooperation and other related fields, with broad prospects for cooperation in emerging economic fields such as digital economy, environmental protection, science and technology.
Look at the high-level exchanges.
In from March 21st to 26th, Xi Jinping made his first visit to Europe this year, and the state visit to Italy, Monaco and France in from March 21st to 26th was highly concerned.
From September 6 to 7, Merkel paid an official visit to China, which was her 12th visit to China during her term of office.
French President Nicolas macarone will attend the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo and pay a state visit to China from November 4 to 6.
At todays press conference, Geng Shuang said that the establishment of the special representative of the Chinese government for European affairs will help both sides strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation, deepen mutual trust, innovate and forge ahead, and jointly promote greater development of China EU relations in the new era.
Ambassador Wu will assist the Ministry of foreign affairs in coordinating European affairs, promote high-level exchanges between China and Europe, participate in important exchanges and cooperation between China and Europe in various fields, and make unremitting efforts to deepen the four major partnerships of peace, growth, reform and civilization between China and Europe.
The newly established special representative for European affairs is a new member of Chinas special envoy diplomacy.
At present, Chinas permanent diplomatic envoys are all competent leaders of the Ministry of foreign affairs. These permanent envoys or special representatives include, but are not limited to:
Special envoy of the Chinese government for the Middle East (Zhai Jun), special representative of the Chinese government for Korean Peninsula Affairs (Kong Xuanyou), special representative of the Chinese government for African Affairs (Xu Jinghu), special envoy of the China Pacific Islands Forum dialogue (Wang Xuefeng), special representative of the Ministry of foreign affairs for human rights (Liu Hua), special representative of the Chinese government for Latin American Affairs (Liu Yuqin), and Afghan affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Special envoy (Deng Xijun), Chinas special representative for climate change Affairs (Xie Zhenhua), etc.
Who can be appointed special envoy or special representative?
Diplomats appointed as permanent envoys are generally familiar with relevant regions and affairs, have relatively rich regional diplomatic experience and problem-solving ability, and are proficient in local languages and customs and culture. Their long-standing regional and international social relations are more advantageous.
Where will China send special envoys or special representatives?
Whats the difference between a special envoy and an ambassador?
Liu Guijin said that the ambassador is responsible for all foreign affairs between China and the countries accredited to him, while the special envoy pays attention to specific issues, can deal with all parties and talk more flexibly.
He said that the special envoys position represents Chinas official position, but the language and method can be his own, which is convenient for communication, not only to convey diplomatic caliber, but also to let them understand Chinas position in a foreign language that foreigners can understand.