According to official media, China selected US ambassador Qin Gang as its new foreign minister on Friday, placing a senior diplomat known for speaking out strongly against the West.
Wang Yi, who has been the face of Chinese diplomacy since 2013, is replaced by the 56-year-old.
Since last year, Qin had served as Beijing’s senior ambassador in Washington, where he was tasked with repairing the deteriorating ties between the two biggest economies in the world.
Qin Gang, a native of the northeastern city of Tianjin, has earned the moniker “wolf fighter,” which is given to Chinese diplomats who vehemently criticize countries in the West they believe to be hostile.
He claimed that by the year 2020, Western perceptions of China had gotten worse because media in Europe and the United States, in particular, had never embraced the country’s governmental structure or its rapid economic development.
For a while, Qin Gang served as the Chinese foreign ministry’s spokeswoman.
Prior to 2018, he frequently crossed paths with President Xi Jinping while doing his job as the head of the protocol division of the foreign ministry.
Between 2018 and last year, he also served as vice-minister of foreign affairs.
Invoking its history as a victim of the 19th-century Opium Wars, Qin has already outlined a view of China as a nation with little to learn from the West.