Liu Xiaoming

Liu Xiaoming (Chinese: 刘晓明; born January 1956) is a Chinese diplomat who has served as the current Ambassador of China to the United Kingdom since 2010 under the former and current Chinese leaders, Hu Jintao (2010–2012) and Xi Jinping (2012–incumbent).

Liu Xiaoming
刘晓明
Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China to the UK.jpg
Liu speaking at Chatham House in 2014
People's Republic of China Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Assumed office
March 2010
Preceded byFu Ying
Personal details
BornJanuary 1956 (age 64)
Jieyang, Guangdong, China
ResidenceLondon, United Kingdom
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese刘晓明
Traditional Chinese劉曉明

BiographyEdit

Liu graduated from Dalian University of Foreign Languages with a major in English and undertook further studies in the United States, obtaining a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1983.[1]

Between 2001 and 2003, Liu acted as China's ambassador in Egypt, and from 2006 to 2010 as Chinese ambassador in North Korea. In 2010 he replaced Fu Ying as Chinese ambassador in the UK.[2]

In 2014, Liu likened Japan to Lord Voldemort, the villain in the Harry Potter series, by writing in The Telegraph: "If militarism is like the haunting Voldemort of Japan, the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo is a kind of horcrux, representing the darkest parts of that nation's soul." In response, Keiichi Hayashi, the Japanese ambassador to the UK, wrote an op-ed in the same newspaper headlined: "China risks becoming Asia's Voldemort".[3]

In 2018, Liu published a signed article in The Guardian on the subject of the US-China trade war, noting that while China was still open to negotiation, the US is maintaining a position of unilateralism.[4] In early May 2018, Liu noted that the North Korean government was closely watching the details surrounding the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.[5]

Hong Kong protestsEdit

In July 2019, Liu criticised the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, saying that it was "totally wrong ... to talk about freedom" after the 2019 Hong Kong protests and that instead it was "a matter about breaking laws in Hong Kong".[6] The same day, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said Hunt was "obsessed with the bad habit of criticizing and lecturing on other countries' affairs condescendingly". This resulted in Liu being summoned to the Foreign Office to explain the "unacceptable and inaccurate" comments and Hunt warning of "serious consequences" if China exercised a human rights crackdown because of the protests.[7][8]

In November 2019, Liu said that British politicians and the Foreign Affairs Select Committee were making "irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong" and that Western powers were "taking sides" in what he said were China's internal affairs.[9] Liu also said in a tweet that countries interfering in Hong Kong were "only shooting [themselves] in the foot".[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Liu Xiaoming". Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "Chinese President Hu Jintao Appoints New Ambassadors". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. March 9, 2010. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  3. ^ "China And Japan Are Calling Each Other 'Voldemort' As Propaganda War Escalates". BusinessInsider. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  4. ^ Liu, Xiaoming (April 10, 2018). "China does not want a trade war with the US, but it must defend itself". the Guardian. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "Kim Jong Un Is Watching Trump's Iran Decision, Chinese Envoy Says". Bloomberg.com. May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Wintour, Patrick (July 3, 2019). "UK summons China ambassador in row over Hong Kong protests". The Guardian. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  7. ^ Griffiths, James (July 4, 2019). "Diplomatic spat between UK and China after Beijing slams London's 'colonial' attitude to Hong Kong". CNN. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Oliphant, Roland; Yan, Sophie (July 3, 2019). "Britain summons Chinese ambassador as he accuses Government of taking 'wrong side' on Hong Kong". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  9. ^ Wintour, Patrick (November 18, 2019). "China accuses Britain of taking sides on Hong Kong protests". The Guardian. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  10. ^ Liu, Xiaoming (November 16, 2019). "Liu Xaioming @AmbLiuXiaoMing". Twitter. Retrieved November 18, 2019.