Diplomat Liu Guangyuan to head HK office of foreign ministry

A veteran diplomat who was the ambassador to Poland has been appointed the new chief of China’s foreign ministry office in Hong Kong.

Liu Guangyuan, the ambassador to Poland from 2018 until last month, will replace Xie Feng as the commissioner of the foreign ministry office in the SAR.

On April 19, he tweeted: “After serving as ambassador to Poland for three years, it’s time to say goodbye to my friends,” adding he would continue to promote a good relationship between the two countries.

Before his tenure in Poland, Liu had served as director-general of the foreign ministry’s department of external security affairs, ambassador to Kenya and a minister at the Chinese embassy in the United States.

Liu has also been quite active on Twitter, weighing in on China’s policies with the European Union and other countries in both English and Polish.

In March, he told a Poland newspaper that perfecting Hong Kong’s electoral system is to plug loopholes in order to implement “patriots administering Hong Kong,” and prevent anti-China troublemakers from entering Hong Kong’s governing team.

The same month, he tweeted: “The improvement of the electoral system will help Hong Kong’s Legislative Council resume normal operation and the Hong Kong government carry out policies to improve people’s livelihoods.”

The electoral changes were passed later that month by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which saw an overhaul toward the composition of Hong Kong’s Legco and Election Committee.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor welcomed Liu’s appointment: “On numerous occasions in recent years when the SAR government was subject to unfair attacks by some foreign government officials and politicians, the commissioner’s office strongly refuted them to set the record straight.

“Liu is a veteran diplomat. I strongly believe that under his leadership, the commissioner’s office will continue to work closely with the SAR government to take forward various works.”

Lam thanked former commissioner Xie, 57, for his contributions during his tenure and wished him success in his new post.

Liu, who is married and has a son, will be taking up the post vacated by Xie after he returned to Beijing on January 13 and was made vice minister of foreign affairs a month later.

Xie, who had taken up the position in Hong Kong in 2017, was among a number of Beijing officials who became a lot more outspoken during the anti-fugitive bill movement since 2019.

He dubbed the anti-government protesters as “terrorists in nature,” saying the “black-clad rioters” involved do not represent the SAR’s residents.

When the national security law was implemented last June, Xie also told Hongkongers “there is absolutely no need to panic,” as only a small number of people would be affected.

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