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China appoints female diplomat as first ASEAN ambassador
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China has appointed Xue Hanqin as its first ambassador to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"To promote China-ASEAN strategic partnership and strengthen their communications and consultation, the Chinese government appointed Xue to be the first ASEAN ambassador," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular briefing on Tuesday.

As non-resident ambassador, Xue will play an important part in boosting China-ASEAN exchanges and cooperation, Qin said.

Xue represents a new face among the special-mission envoys China has appointed in recent years. Earlier, China named special ambassadors on the European Union, African affairs, Korean peninsula issues and others.

Qin called Xue "an experienced diplomat and an expert on international law."

Her previous job was ambassador to the Netherlands and representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. She has also been head of the department of treaty and law in the Foreign Ministry.

(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2008)


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