FM spokesperson Hua promoted to Assistant Foreign Minister in ‘recognition of her work’ in conveying China’s voice
Published: Oct 24, 2021 11:33 PM
Hua Chunying Photo: VCG

Hua Chunying Photo: VCG

Hua Chunying, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's information department, was promoted to the position of Assistant Foreign Minister, according to the ministry's website. The promotion was widely praised by Chinese netizens on social media on Sunday as many were impressed by Hua's kindness and graceful manners while also replying with incisive and smart responses to the smears and attacks led by the West against China amid US-led geopolitical confrontation with China. 

According to the ministry's website, 51-year-old Hua, who headed the information department of the Foreign Ministry since July 2019, is now the Assistant Foreign Minister. In this new capacity, Hua is in charge of information, protocol and translation work in the ministry. 

Her promotion gained much attention on social media with related posts reaching over 110 million views as of Sunday evening, with many netizens expecting Hua to play a more important role in telling Chinese stories to the world. Over the past few years, the veteran Chinese diplomat has impressed the public - as well as the world - with her gentle but fierce and sharp style in responding to various questions in her role as Foreign Ministry spokesperson. 

And her personal charm and professional performance also won the hearts of, not only Chinese journalists, but also foreign reporters in China, and many netizens call her "Sister Hua" on social media platforms. 

Experts consider that the promotion is also a recognition of Hua's work in the past years and expect there will be more women among high-ranking officials in China's diplomatic team.

"As China faces a different external environment and more external challenges, Hua perfectly expresses China's views and convey China's voices with her mature communication skills full of wisdom, so that the world can better understand the country," Li Haidong, professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

"Her warm and rational personality with a firm stand and principles has served as a 'name card' for China at the global stage," Li said. 

Hua has been highly active on foreign social media platforms like Twitter in getting  China's voice heard and telling the world China's stories. With over 993,000 followers on Twitter, she sometimes shares pictures of fascinating autumn views in Beijing and videos about how China implemented a series of measures to helping improve the environment along the Yellow River and refuting rumors led by the West of "forced labor" in Xinjiang for cotton harvesting with clips showing what life is like for ordinary cotton-pickers in the region. 

For example, in response to attacks led by former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo over alleged human rights in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region earlier this year, Hua said in a harsh and direct way that "I really don't want to waste any time describing Pompeo, his character, all the lies he told, rumors he spread, and the poisonous remarks he made, of which I think you all have had enough."

But when it was about communication and dialogue between countries, Hua used her personal channels and charm to interact with officials generating goodwill for people-to-people ties. 

For instance, in early October, fans of Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Han called on Chinese fans to support him at the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Hua responded in a post written in Japanese that there will be support for Yuzuru, receiving a wide welcomed by netizens in Japan who also sent out wishes for Beijing to hold a successful Winter Olympics. 

Humor and personal expressions of Hua and other Foreign Ministry spokespersons at press conferences contrast sharply with the traditional diplomatic style seen in the past and reflect the personal charm of China's new generation of diplomats who are confident, proactive and vigorous in their duty, according to experts.