Former Chinese UN Ambassador to Take on Taiwan Post

By Mei Manuel, October 12, 2017 03:10 AM

Liu Jieyi(Screenshot/ UN Web TV)

China's former representative to the UN is now the deputy head of the Taiwan Affairs Office in light of a leadership shuffle prior to the 19th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China next week.

Chinese diplomat Liu Jieyi originally served as China's ambassador to the United Nations since August 2013; however,  he was recalled to Beijing last month to wait for his newest assignment. According to Chinese state media reports, he is now the top ranked of four deputy heads leading the Taiwan Affairs Office

Taiwan has remained to be one of China's most important and sensitive issues and China firmly stressed that the country is a wayward province of the mainland. It has also cleared stressed that it can use force to bring the country back to its control. Taiwan is also considered an internal affair by the Chinese government and putting Chinese diplomats to serve at the Taiwan Affairs Office is not new.

Currently, the office is led by Zhang Zhijun after replacing current foreign minister Wang Yi in 2013. Zhang has also worked for the foreign ministry prior to leading the Taiwan Affairs Office.

As the highest ranking deputy in the office, Liu is in line to take over from Zhang should Zhang takes a new position in the next few months.

The incoming party congress which occurs once every five years often triggers a leadership shuffle throughout the country up to the annual parliament meeting held every March.

Taiwan and China relations have been volatile at best after Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became president last year. Beijing believes that she wants to push for Taiwan's full independence which Beijing does not agree with.

China has closed off regular channels for negotiations with Taiwan and has increased its military operations around the island. China has also stepped up its pressure to cut off Taiwan's diplomatic efforts.

In the side of Taiwan, Tsai has pledged this week that she will be keeping peace with China and would work on achieving breakthroughs with Beijing and provide consistent policies for the country.

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