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The work an envoy did to improve ties with Japan
By Li Xing and Hu Xuan (China Daily)
2007-09-28 07:21


Wang Yi was born in October 1953 in Beijing and worked in the countryside in Northeast China as one of the hundreds of millions of urban youths sent to rural areas for reeducation between 1969 and 1977.

In March 1978, he entered Beijing No 2 Foreign Languages Institute to study Japanese. He was one among the 270,000 young people to succeed in the National College Entrance Examinations, which was resumed after more than 10 years.

Upon graduation, he joined the Foreign Ministry, rising in rank from staff member and attach and deputy division chief, to division chief of the Department of Asian Affairs between 1982 and 1989.

In 1989, he assumed the post of councilor of the Chinese embassy in Japan and later rose to councilor with the rank of a minister.

He returned in 1994, and was appointed deputy director general of the Department of Asian Affairs. In 1995, he became the department's director-general, and was then appointed assistant minister of Foreign Affairs in 1998.

He was promoted as vice-minister of Foreign Affairs in 2001.

On this post, he was especially noted for his role in smoothening the way for the Six-Party Talks. The Japan Times, in a special report, highlighted the fact that Wang Yi as the Chinese delegate "used language that referred to the need for parallel and synchronous steps to bridge the gap."

He is married, with a daughter.

Three important political documents

The Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, which was signed on September 29, 1972 to announce the restoration of the diplomatic relations between the two countries;

The Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the People's Republic of China and Japan, signed on August 12, 1978;

The Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration, which was inked on November 1998 to declare the establishment of a partnership of friendship and cooperation for peace and development.

Chinese leniency

The People's Republic of China is forgiving concerning Japanese B- and C-class war criminals, letting them off without death penalties.

By comparison, the Netherlands handed down death sentences to 226 such criminals; Britain, 223; Australia, 153; and the US, 140.

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East, which was opened on May 3, 1946, continued its hearings through November 1948, convicted 25 Japanese Class-A war criminals and later hanged seven of them.



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