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State media reported on Tuesday that former ambassador Sun Weidong, who served as Beijing's representative to India until October, had been appointed a vice-foreign minister. This suggests that the experienced Chinese diplomat will be crucial in determining China's policies toward South Asia going forward.

According to China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Sun Weidong, who had recently completed a three-plus year term as China's ambassador to India, has been named deputy foreign minister, the state-run tabloid Global Times tweeted on Tuesday night.

After returning to China in 2019, Sun's predecessor Luo Zhaohui was likewise given a promotion to vice-foreign minister.

From 2019 until 2022, Sun, 56, served as China's ambassador to India. During this time, bilateral relations reached an all-time low due to the continued border tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and the Galwan Valley conflict in June 2020.

Between 2005 to 2008, he worked as a counsellor at the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.

Before leaving for China in October, Sun met with India's external affairs minister S. Jaishankar, who informed him that normalising India-China relations is in the best interests of both nations as well as the region.