China will strengthen global partnerships, safeguard its sovereignty: Wang Yi

Beijing: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who replaced Qin Gang this week after his summary dismissal, has said in his first comments that Beijing would deepen its global partnerships while “resolutely safeguarding” its sovereignty, security and development interests.

Significantly, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which scrubbed the name, photos and speeches of Qin soon after his sacking on Tuesday, in a surprise move restored them on Friday.

Soon after the Chinese Parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), passed a resolution sacking Qin, 57, and re-appointed director of the ruling Communist Party’s Foreign Affairs Commission Wang, 69, as the foreign minister, all references to Qin were scrubbed out by the foreign ministry on Wednesday.

However, within two days the content of Qin’s activities in his six-month stint as the foreign minister has been reloaded on the official Chinese website of the ministry. Wang, in his first comments after being re-appointed as China’s foreign minister, said

China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, will deepen and expand global partnerships with win-win cooperation.

At the same time, China will resolutely defend its national sovereignty, security and development interests and fully protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens overseas, he said in a message posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website.

Qin was made the foreign minister in December last year, superseding many seniors and earning the distinction of being a rising star in the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

He was one of the youngest appointees to the post in China’s history. Before his elevation, Xi had sent Qin as China’s ambassador to the US to stabilise Beijing’s stalled ties with Washington.

No reason has yet been given for Qin’s sacking nor his whereabouts are known yet. The high-profile minister has not been seen in public since June 25, after he met with officials from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Russia here.

Wang returns to a post he held for most of the past decade. From 2004 to 2007, he served as China’s ambassador in Tokyo.