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China replaces senior Foreign Ministry official

China replaces senior Foreign Ministry official

Official reports say China has replaced a senior Foreign Ministry official with a bureaucrat boasting deep ties to the Communist Party's foreign policy establishment.
The appointment comes at the end of a trying year for China's diplomacy as the country backs away from its long-standing low-key approach to territorial disputes and participation in global organizations.
The website of the party's People's Daily newspaper says Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun has taken over as the ministry's Communist Party secretary, a position that outranks the actual foreign minister.
Zhang, 57, served almost his entire career in the party's International Liaison Department, a type of shadow Foreign Ministry focussing on contacts with foreign political parties.