The new State Councillor may lead India-China border talks

Beijing : China’s tough-talking Foreign Minister Wang Yi was elevated on Monday to the top diplomatic post of State Councillor, a move which could make him the new Special Representative to handle the vexed boundary negotiations with India, according to officials.

  Wang, 65, would also continue to head the Foreign Ministry, becoming the first Chinese official to hold the dual post in recent years.

 Wang’s name for the post of State Councillor and Foreign was endorsed by the parliament – the National People’s Congress (NPC), state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed Wang’s name as part of a new set of officials to head various positions for the next five years in the government headed by President Xi Jinping.

In Chinese power hierarchy, State Councillor is ranked higher than Foreign Minister and considered as the top diplomat of the country and is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the policies of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). Wang succeeds Yang Jiechi, 67, who last year has been elevated to become member of the CPC’s Politburo, a high ranking body of the CPC headed by Xi.

By virtue of being the State Councillor, Wang is also expected to succeed Yang as China’s Special Representative for India-China boundary talks, though officials say the Chinese government’s position will become clear only after an official notification.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is India’s Special Representative.

Missile man is new defence minister

China appointed a former missile unit commander as its new defence minister on Monday, whose first guest of honour could be his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman. Lieutenant General Wei Fenghe, 63, a close confidant of President Xi Jinping, was the last commander of China’s missile unit, the Second Artillery Corps, before it was split into two — the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force and the Strategic Support Force — making them a potent force.

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