Wang Yingfan has served as China’s assistant foreign minister and, most recently, as the vice-chairman of the foreign affairs committee of its National People’s Congress. A veteran diplomat, he has also served as China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, and ambassador to the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and Ghana.
Wang was born in 1942 in Inner Mongolia. He attended Beijing Foreign Studies University before beginning his diplomatic career.
Why is he in the news?
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on March 11 that Wang had been appointed its first Special Envoy for Asian Affairs, with Myanmar as his top priority.
What can we expect?
Wang’s appointment highlights China’s intention to remain robustly engaged in Southeast Asia. Wang has handled complex diplomatic issues, including the handover of Hong Kong and Macao, and territorial disputes in the South China Sea, earning him both significant experience and the confidence of the Chinese Communist Party.
China has worked to remain relevant in Myanmar, where reforms have renewed relations between the formerly isolated country and the United States, Europe, Australia, and other nations. China is brokering peace talks between Naypyidaw and the Kachin Independence Organization, and has coordinated closely with the Myanmar government to crack down on cross-border narcotics trafficking. Such initiatives, along with Wang’s appointment, are hopeful signs that China is committed to constructively engaging with and boosting the growth of an increasingly integrated Southeast Asia.