Wang approved as China foreign minister: Parliament

BEIJING (AFP) - China's parliament on Saturday approved Wang Yi, a former ambassador to Japan and currently in charge of Taiwan affairs, to be the country's new foreign minister.

Wang replaces Yang Jiechi, who has served since 2007. The National People's Congress (NPC) also approved Yang to become a member of the State Council, Wang Shengjun, NPC vice chairman, announced.

The changes are part of a broad revamp of personnel as China concludes a once-a-decade leadership transition that saw Communist party chief Xi Jinping elected president on Thursday.

The change at the top of the foreign ministry comes at a time of heightened tensions with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, claimed by both countries.

Wang, 59, served as ambassador to Japan from 2004 to 2007 and was also a diplomat in China's embassy in Tokyo from 1989 to 1994. He reportedly speaks Japanese.

He has been in charge of Taiwan affairs on the State Council since 2008.

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