Wang Shithing has invited to the media conference from 10.30 a.m. It is the first major appearance of the new Chinese ambassador in Switzerland. The 53-year-old career diplomat only took up his post in Bern last August.
Wang describes his first contact with Switzerland as follows: Almost exactly 40 years ago, when Wang was still in middle school, a friend showed him a Swiss army knife. “It sparkled, the quality was very good, and it was beautiful,” enthused Wang in a portrait of the NZZ.
At that time, Wang said, he couldn’t afford such a knife. Wang’s personal story with the pocket knife is an expression of the unprecedented economic development that China has experienced in recent decades.
An Africa specialist
Before he was transferred to Switzerland, Wang was primarily concerned with Africa as a diplomat. In Africa, China has massively expanded its investments and political influence in recent years.
Initially, Wang was stationed in South Africa, then he became deputy director of the Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. He later went to Malawi and then to Ghana as an ambassador. So now he’s Beijing’s new man in Switzerland.
Studied in the USA
Wang was born in the city of Qufu in the east Chinese province of Shandong, the birthplace of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. Wang studied history and law in China – and received a master’s degree from George Washington University in the United States.
Plain text from the predecessor
Wang’s predecessor in Bern was Ambassador Geng Wenbing. This gave this newspaper in 2019 an interview in which he was speaking fairly undiplomatic plain language. One can therefore look forward to Wang’s first appearance.
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