Yang Jiechi appointed foreign minister

Updated: 2007-04-27 10:41

China's top legislature on Friday approved the cabinet nomination of Yang Jiechi, former ambassador to the United States, as the country's new foreign minister.

Yang Jiechi

Yang, 57, replaces Li Zhaoxing, 66, who has served as China's top diplomat since 2003. China's minister-level officials usually retire at the age of 65.

A veteran diplomat, Yang served in the Chinese embassy in the United States for nearly 13 years over different periods in the 1980s, 1990s and the beginning of this century.

Yang started his diplomatic career in 1975 in the Foreign Ministry and was appointed vice foreign minister in 1998.

While serving as ambassador to the United States from 2001 to 2005, Yang won acclaim for his efforts to promote China-U.S. cooperation and exchanges in fighting terrorism, trade and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

During his term in Washington, he was also said to be able to tread a fine line in both firmly defending China's national interests and maintaining smooth and stable ties with the United States.

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