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Priority shift: China reassigns ambassador to ASEAN Huang Xilian to Manila

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China has picked a seasoned diplomat with extensive knowledge on Asian affairs as its new ambassador to the Philippines as the maritime dispute in the South China Sea continues.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila confirmed that Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Huang Xilian will be the new envoy to Manila Monday (November 25) in its invitation to the Christmas party for Philippine media.

“The incoming Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Huang Xilian, will be making a speech in this event,” the invitation read.

Politiko first reported that Huang will replace Zhao Jianhua as China’s ambassador to the Philippines last July.

Huang, 52, boasts of nearly three decades’ worth of experience in Asian affairs.

He has been posted to Brunei, India and Pakistan as an attaché and deputy chief of mission.

From 2008 to 2010, Huang worked in the United States as the Chinese government’s political counsellor.

His extensive knowledge on Asia led to his appointment as counsellor at the Department of Asian Affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry from 2012 to 2014.

He was promoted to Deputy Director General at the department before holding his current post as China’s envoy to the ASEAN.

Huang graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Beijing Foreign Studies University and took up masteral studies at the University of Manchester.

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