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Top-ranking officials exchange posts
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Zhang Zhijun(R), vice minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CCCPC), recently exchanged positions with Liu Jieyi(L), assistant minister of foreign affairs.

Zhang Zhijun was born in Jiangsu in 1953 and is a veteran of the International Department of the CCCPC. Besides temporary posts in Shandong and the Chinese embassy in the U.K., he has worked in the CCCPC International Department since 1975 and was in charge of the Bureau of North American, Oceanic and Scandinavian Affairs. He will take charge of European affairs and the Department of Translation and Interpretation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Liu Jieyi, the new vice minister of the CCCPC International Department is husband of the popular former FM spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue. He was born in Beijing in 1957 and has worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1987. Liu has worked as head of the Department of Army Control, the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs, and the Department of Translation and Interpretation.

This job exchange between the two departments plays an important role in China's "big diplomacy" strategy as the importance of communication between organizations is emphasized.

The main responsibilities of the CCCPC International Department, also called the "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the CPC", include implementing the foreign policies of the Party, researching changes and development in the international situation and major international issues, providing constructive proposals, communicating with foreign parties and political organizations, and managing and coordinating the foreign affairs of Party organizations at the central and local levels.

"I think the predominant feature of our Party's diplomacy is close communication between politicians, which will help to increase mutual trust and avoid confusion. Parties in many other countries alternate rather rapidly. But politicians always play a major role in party politics because they are the ones who form domestic and international policy for their countries and parties," Zhang Zhijun said in 2007.

According to Bai Yunzhen, an expert in diplomacy from the Central University of Finance and Economics, such a transfer of the two officials will make diplomacy between parties more effective.

Before opening-up, the Party's diplomacy comprised most foreign affairs in China, conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the CCCPC International Department contributed to communication mainly with European and American parties. With the increase in exchanges involving non-government agencies, China's leadership understands the importance of diplomacy between social and political organizations.


"Big diplomacy" recognizes that contemporary diplomacy involves not only political contacts, but also cultural, commercial, educational, and scientific exchanges.

(China.org.cn by Ren Zhongxi, June 9, 2009)

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