Outgoing Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu (L) and her replacement Hua Chunying (R).
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu has guided us through the bad times and the good, who could forget her incisive comments on the whereabouts of disappeared bloggers? Or her fearless admonition of the US over its human rights record? Sadly, every sun must set, and the China Daily reports that Jiang Yu has been replaced.
Jiang’s replacement, Hua Chunying, gave her debut news conference to a “large contingent of reporters eager to know more about China and the veteran diplomat.”
China Daily predicts that Hua will “balance and complement Beijing’s customarily masculine tone”… by replacing another woman in one of the few senior positions held by women in the Chinese government.
Hua, nicknamed “winter jasmine” in college, is the epitome of Chinese womanhood:
“The nickname also showed the popularity Hua enjoyed at college because she was quiet but eloquent, simple but mature,” said Zhou, who was helped by Hua in 1988 when she broke an arm.
A former English teacher of Hua, Jin Zhuyun, said that the “world is increasingly hungry for information about China”. We can but hope that Hua demonstrates the same skill and tenacity in making sure the world only gets the right information about China. In her first press conference, Hua demonstrated a knack for eloquently failing to convey any actual information:
According to the Chinese state media, China will adopt a more active foreign policy following the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Would you please elaborate on the changes?
The 18th National Congress of the CPC is a congress of unity that carries forward our cause. It exerts an important and profound influence on the CPC’s efforts to rally and lead people of all ethnic groups of the country to continue building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, accelerating socialist modernization and creating a new momentum in building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Hua joined the Foreign Ministry in 1993, working in the European Union, Singapore, and the department of European affairs in Beijing before moving to the information department earlier this year.
Hong Lei, Jiang’s male counterpart, remains in his position.