New Chinese FM Qin Gang’s First Overseas Mission Takes Him to Africa

Mr Qin Gang was promoted to the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs right after the 20th Communist Party of China Congress. Previously, he was the Chinese Ambassador in USA. On 4 January 2023, it is perhaps worth noting that the Washington Post published an OpEd of Qin Gang entitled “The Planet’s Future Depends on a Stable China-US Relationship.”

The official announcement for his promotion was made public on 30 December 2022. His predecessor Wang Yi was also promoted to the post of Director of the Office of Central Foreign Affairs Commission, which is the top diplomatic post in China. Formerly, Yang Jiechi held this office before his retirement.

At the beginning of the new year, it is the tradition for the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs to undertake a tour of Africa. Thus, on 9 January 2023, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin, announced that for 2023, the itinerary of Minister Qin Gang will take him to five African countries (#QinGangAfrica2023), namely, Ethiopia, Egypt, Gabon, Benin and Angola. The official trip is scheduled from 9 to 16 January 2023 and 2023 marks the 33rd year in a row that this tradition is maintained.

It [FM’s yearly trip to Africa] shows that China attaches great importance to the traditional friendship with Africa and the development of China-Africa relations.

China MFA Spokesperson, WANG Wenbin

On the same trip, he also plans to pay a visit to the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa and the League of Arab States in Cairo. During his visit to the #AU in Ethiopia, he is expected to take part in the inauguration ceremony for the new Africa Center for Disease Control (#CDC), which will help improve the response of the AU to pandemics such as #COVID.

2023 will see China host the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (#CAETE) and the Belt and Road (#BRI) Summit. Therefore, Qin Gang is personally inviting African countries to participate in these events.