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World

Web Desk
October 18, 2019

Chinese diplomat Zhao Lijian is back on Twitter

World

Web Desk
Fri, Oct 18, 2019

BEIJING: Senior Chinese diplomat Zhao Lijian is back on Twitter after he was transferred to Foreign Ministry after completing his tenure in Pakistan as Deputy Chief of Mission at Islamabad Embassy.

Zhao, one of the most famous Chinese officials on Twitter, was a prolific social media user during his Pakistan posting and a staunch supporter of Pak-China ties. He was a one-man army when it comes to defending China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and giving a shut up call to the critics.

“My pleasure to be back on Twitter,” Lijian, who is now the Deputy Director General at the ministry, said Friday.

“After I completed 4 years as DCM in Pakistan, I was appointed as Deputy Director General, Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With the new capacity, I will try my best to tell the story of China & spread the voice of China,” he tweeted announcing his arrival on micro-blogging site.

“I am in Durban, South Africa with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. There are many descedents from the subcontinent in Durban. After this, he will co-chair 5th meeting of China-France High-Level Cultural & People-to-People Exchange Mechanism, & 2nd China-Switzerland Strategic Dialogue,” he tweeted.

Global Times, an influential Chinese newspaper and considered close to Communist Party of China, termed Zhao the most active Chinese diplomat on Twitter and listed as one of ‘the pioneers’.

Having more than 200k followers, Zhao will be playing a key role in promoting China’s message across globe.

In an analysis on the trend Beijing was adopting social media to counter Western propaganda, Jin Canrong, Associate Dean of Renmin University of China's School of International Studies told GT that "the new generation of diplomats is more used to social media, and they show more personal characteristics. When they are talking to Westerners or Western media, they seem more flexible and skilled."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry holds an open attitude toward Twitter, He Weiwen, a former economic and commercial counselor at Chinese consulates in San Francisco and New York, told the newspaper.

He believes that the Twitter accounts of the Chinese diplomats were approved by upper administration departments.

Zhao rose to international fame when he countered former US national security adviser Susan Rice in a Twitter tirade in July when the   US hawk  called him  ‘a racist disgrace’.

In Pakistan, he earned the recognition of most  favorite diplomat, and his leaving Islamabad prompted a  flood of response with everyone  recalling his meetings with Zhao.

In a video  pinned top on his profile,  Zhao opened up about his strong bond with Pakistan. "I am leaving Pakistan with a heavy heart, because Pakistan has stolen my heart, and I have to leave now," he said.