Saturday, May 18, 2024

Who is Xu Feihong, China’s new envoy to India

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After a gap of 18 months, Chinese President Xi Jinping has appointed senior diplomat Xu Feihong as the new Ambassador to India. 

However there is no official announcement yet, but the Chinese Foreign Ministry has confirmed to PTI that Xu, former ambassador to Afghanistan and Romania, has been appointed as China’s new envoy in India.

Who is Xu Feihong?

The 60-year-old Xu Feihong was serving as assistant minister for financial and administrative affairs in the foreign ministry.

In 37 years as a Chinese diplomat, Xu’s only task in South Asia was as ambassador to Afghanistan from 2010 to 2013 and Romania from 2015 to 2018.

Most of Xu’s postings have been in the Western world, from Finland to Australia, with a specialisation in Europe.

He will succeed veteran Chinese diplomat Sun Weidong who completed his term in India in October 2022.

Sun Weidong, left his post in October 2022 almost after three years that saw relations between the two neighbours plunge following clashes in the eastern Ladakh.

Since April-May 2020, India and China have been locked in a military stand-off in the western part of their border.

Tensions flared along the India-China border as Chinese forces advanced past their usual positions on the Line of Actual Control. This resulted in clashes between Chinese troops and Indian army patrols.

The most serious incident was reported on June 15th in the Galwan Valley, where a brutal hand-to-hand fight resulted in casualties on both sides. India confirmed the loss of 20 soldiers, while China acknowledged at least 4 fatalities.

Since then, at least 20 rounds of military-level talks and 13 rounds of foreign office talks have been held between the two countries.

India is pressing the People’s Liberation Army to disengage from the Depsang and Demchok areas, maintaining that there cannot be restoration of normalcy in its relations with China as long as the state of the borders remains abnormal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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