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Liu Hongcai, the new Chinese Ambassador to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), arrived in Pyongyang on March 5, 2010, and then handed over his credentials to the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, Kim Yong Nam, and formally assumed his duties as Ambassador to the DPRK. on March 29, the General Secretary of the Worker's Party of Korea (WPK) and the Chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC), Kim Jong Il, met with and hosted a banquet in the capital city of Pyongyang.
Expert on Korea
Liu Hongcai, 55, is a native of Panshan County, Liaoning Province. Prior to becoming China's ambassador to the DPRK, he was the top-ranking deputy minister of the Foreign Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (hereinafter referred to as the "CLC").
The Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is the functional department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China responsible for foreign affairs. Its main duties are to implement the guidelines and policies of the Central Committee on foreign work, follow up and study the development and changes in the international situation and major international issues, and provide the Central Committee of the CPC with relevant information and countermeasure proposals; it is also responsible for the contacts and liaison work between the CPC Central Committee and foreign political parties and organizations.
Liu Hongcai's work at the CUF is mainly responsible for the CCP's dealings with political parties in Asian countries. During his tenure, he accompanied party and state leaders such as Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, and Xi Jinping on many of their visits to North Korea. It is reported that Liu Hongcai is quite familiar with North Korea and Northeast Asian affairs, which is why he has been called an "expert on North Korea", and this time he was sent to be the ambassador to North Korea, which can be considered as an appropriate use of his talents.
Adjunct Honorary Professor
Liu Hongcai studied Japanese throughout his early years of schooling, attending the Changchun School of Foreign Languages, and at the age of 17 was admitted to Beijing's Second Institute of Foreign Languages, where he continued his studies in Japanese.
After graduation, Liu Hongcai entered the work of the Ministry of the Central People's Republic of China (CPC) and served as deputy director, director, deputy director and director of the CPC.From March 1989 to January 1992, he went to the Chinese Embassy in Japan as a first secretary, and then in Jining City, Shandong Province, for one year, as the deputy mayor of the city's central district.
In April 2000, Liu Hongcai once again returned to the CUF as Deputy Secretary General and Director of the CUF's Second Bureau; three years later, he was promoted to Deputy Minister of the CUF.
Currently, in addition to his official duties, Liu Hongcai is also an honorary professor at his alma mater, Beijing Second Institute of Foreign Languages.
In 2009, on the day of his appointment, the honorary professor said: "I feel honored to be the honorary dean of the Japanese Language Institute, but I also feel the responsibility on my shoulders. The Japanese language program at Erwai is one of the best in the country, and it has cultivated a lot of Japanese language talents. Today I accept the letter of appointment to become the honorary dean, and I hope that Erwai can continue to maintain the advantages of the specialty and continue to send talents to the country."
He was also recognized as a "Distinguished Alumnus" by his alma mater.
Ambassadors to the DPRK are generally at the level of vice-ministers
Due to the special "comrade and brother" relationship between China and the DPRK that has developed historically, Chinese ambassadors to the DPRK have been appointed diplomats with vice-ministerial qualifications, alongside the United States and a few other major powers.
Liu Hongcai's predecessor, Liu Xiaoming, who is known as an "American", is a special case.
Almost all Chinese ambassadors to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) before Liu Xiaoming were nearly 60 years old, but he was born in 1956 and turned 50 when he became ambassador to the DPRK. This is also a "first", as he is the first Chinese ambassador to the DPRK who was born after the war against the U.S. and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Therefore, when he was appointed ambassador to the DPRK in September 2006, there was a lot of speculation in the international community as to whether China's appointment of an "American generalist" to deal with the DPRK issue was an indication of a change in China's policy toward the DPRK and an expectation that the DPRK would handle its relations with the United States well.
Liu Xiaoming has been working in the DPRK for three and a half years, and at his invitation, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has twice been a guest of the Chinese Embassy in the DPRK; before he left his post, Kim Jong-il also inscribed an inscription for him: "I will not forget the good friend of the DPRK, the outstanding diplomat." In February, Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, presented Riu with the Order of Friendship of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, First Class, at the Mansudae Hall in Pyongyang. This medal is enough to recognize his positive contribution to the relations between China and the DPRK during his term of office
Leaving North Korea, Liu is now headed to the UK to replace Fu Ying as China's ambassador to the UK.
In fact, several Chinese ambassadors to the DPRK before Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, they were not experts on the DPRK either.
Wudonghe was ambassador to North Korea from 2001 to 2006, after a long career in Chinese diplomacy with Africa; Wudonghe's predecessor, Ambassador Wang Guozhang, has been engaged in disciplinary and inspection work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA); Wang's predecessor, Wan Yongxiang, also did not come from a background of studying North Korea, but was secretary of the MFA's Disciplinary Inspection Committee, member of the ministry's Party committee, and a member of the Central Committee of Secrecy before becoming ambassador; and Qiao Zonghuai, son of Qiao Guanhua, who served as ambassador to North Korea from 1993 to 1996, was China's ambassador to Finland and Estonia before his mission to North Korea.
Compared with the previous terms, known as the "North Korea expert" Liu Hongcai was sent to North Korea, can be said to be to "use". When assuming his new duties, Liu Hongcai said: "As the 16th Chinese ambassador to the DPRK, I am deeply impressed by the glorious mission and heavy responsibility, and I am willing to work with the DPRK side to safeguard and develop the common interests of the two sides, and promote the continuous development of relations between the two countries in various fields."
China, North Korea to expand practical cooperation
In recent years, China and the DPRK have expanded practical cooperation in politics, economy, culture and other aspects on the basis of being friendly neighbors.
On February 25 this year, Wu Hailong, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, and Park Gil Yon, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, signed the Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on the Joint Construction, Management and Maintenance of the Yalu River Boundary Highway Bridge in Dandong City, Liaoning Province. Construction of the bridge, which is expected to begin in October 2010, will be financed by the Chinese side to the tune of approximately 1 billion yuan.
A media report on March 9 said that the DPRK had agreed to lease a pier at the port of Rojin to Jilin Province for 10 years, giving Jilin Province, which has no access to the sea, precious trade access.
At the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the government of the DPRK participated in the Expo for the first time and decided on the theme of the DPRK's participation, "Prosperous Pyongyang - Based on the Culture of the Daedong River". China warmly welcomes the DPRK's participation in the Expo and will provide assistance to the best of its ability.
At that time, the North Korean version of the opera "Dream of the Red Chamber" will also visit China for performances in the first half of the year. ★