World Who is Qin Gang? China's New Ambassador to the U.S. Has Formidable Reputation
US-China talks come at time of heightened tension
US diplomatic trip comes 50 years after Kissinger’s secret China visit initiating relations between the two countries.Last Monday, US President Joe Biden – along with NATO, the European Union, Australia, the UK, Canada, Japan and New Zealand – slammed China for a wide-reaching cyberespionage campaign, which Secretary of State Antony Blinken said posed “a major threat to our economic and national security”.
TheEmbassy in Washington has a new leader whose first-ever ambassadorship starts during a low point in U.S.-China relations and amid increased scrutiny on Beijing, but Qin Gang's record suggests he is nothing if not a staunch defender of his government's policies—particularly in highly sensitive areas that still remain as contentious as ever today.
A career diplomat of over three decades, Qin joined China's Foreign Ministry in 1988 and latterly served as its minister for Europe, publicity and protocol, arranging foreign trips for Presidentand receiving foreign dignitaries in Beijing.
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His most notable public-facing roles were two stints as Foreign Ministry spokesperson between 2005 and 2014. There he earned a reputation for staring down journalists and pushing back against any perceived criticism of Chinese government policy.
In 2010, before he left the country for a one-year posting at the Chinese Embassy in London, Qin recounted to a local newspaper how he "counterattacked" reporters at his press conferences, appearing to set the tone for successors who subsequently filled his role as spokesperson.
The 55-year-old former Vice Foreign Minister arrived in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to fill the vacancy left by the long-serving former Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai. He now occupies what is arguably China's most important foreign posting, at a time when U.S.-China ties have been described as being in their worst state since bilateral relations were formalized in 1979.
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The idea that economic liberalisation would inevitably lead to political liberalisation in China was always a neoliberal fantasy. Now some believers are starting to wake up.Similar mea culpas haven’t been forthcoming from the Coalition’s stenographers and cheerleaders, alas. Paul Kelly has never admitted he was wrong in lauding the deal as a “moment of transformation” of global significance, pointing the way to a “glorious future” in which an “astute Xi” would “pull Australia far closer into China’s orbit in coming years”.
"I believe that the door of China-U.S. relations, which is already open, cannot be closed. This is the trend of the world, the call of the times, and the will of the people," Qin told a select group of Chinese and American journalists upon his arrival, according to a readout on the embassy's website.
"The China-U.S. relationship has once again come to a new critical juncture, facing not only many difficulties and challenges but also great opportunities and potentials," he added, striking an upbeat tone and promising to "build bridges."
Back in China, meanwhile, Qin's appointment has been portrayed by some corners of the media as a sign that Beijing was ready to meet the Biden administration's tougher line with a similarly resolute diplomatic outlook.
Video: China's new U.S. ambassador has hope for relations (Reuters)
Strained Relationship With the U.S.
Despite being a veteran diplomat, Qin's record might not suggest any obvious expertise on U.S. affairs. It's unclear whether he can repair China's strained relationship with Washington amid intense competition over technology and influence, and while continuing to clash over fundamental values like human rights.
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Esther Qin has qualified for the final of the women's 3m springboard however Australian teammate Anabelle Smith missed the cut.Esther Qin will fly the Australian flag in the final of the women's 3m springboard but Tokyo teammate Anabelle Smith narrowly missed the 12-diver field.
What he certainly can be counted on, it would seem, is to demand respect for China while offering a comprehensive defense of Beijing's domestic and foreign policies—this time from the front line.
The phrase "Wolf Warrior" diplomat—describing an official who is not afraid to respond with harsh or even controversial rhetoric—had yet to emerge when Qin was still Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
Earlier this year, however, he offered a defense of his government's turn to a more hawkish posture, telling the press in February that Chinese diplomats had to stand up to and reject "frenzied attacks" against the country. Those who sought to smear China, he said, were the real "evil wolves."
Some of his more colorful remarks as spokesperson came during rebuttals about China's policies inand , two highly charged subjects that still remain in the spotlight, mostly recently following Deputy Secretary of State on Sunday and Monday.
In November 2009, after reports emerged that former Presidentplanned to meet the exiled spiritual leader the , Qin compared China's annexation of Tibet to Abraham Lincoln's emancipation of slaves in America—a point he felt Obama, as a "Black president," would "of course understand."
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Lee Hsien Loong warned of the danger of "mass miscalculation or mishap" in the Taiwan Strait but felt conflict was not imminent—as long as the U.S. maintained its clear and consistent position.Lee Hsien Loong said Beijing was unlikely to "make a unilateral move" against Taiwan, despite the Chinese leadership's unambiguous ambition of seizing the democratic island, which the prime minister described as "the mother of all core interests" for Beijing.
In July the following year, Qin told reporters to start basing their reports about Tibet and Xinjiang on "facts instead of illusions."
In March 2014, Qin dismissed international concerns over China's growing military spending and its lack of transparency. Thewouldn't remain "boy scouts" forever, he said.
Qin, who tweeted Wednesday that he would observe 14-days of self-quarantine at his residence, replaced the previous ambassador after a one-month window. Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing has been without an ambassador for over nine months.
Death of Dennis Thomas: The saxophonist of Kool & The Gang dies at the age of 70 .
© Wyters Alban / Abaca Death of Dennis Thomas: the saxophonist of Kool & The Gang dies at the age of 70 On August 7, 2021, Dennis Thomas, the saxophonist of Kool & The Gang died at the age of 70. The group announced his death in a statement. Sad New For Kool & The Gang members and fans. The saxophonist and co-founder of the group, Dennis Thomas, died this Saturday, August 7, 2021 at the age of 70 .