A native of the northeastern city of Tianjin, Qin has been Beijing’s top representative in Washington since last year and is charged with getting ties between the world’s two largest economies back on track. He is fluent in English and has gained some notoriety in the US for repeatedly publicly explaining China’s position.

In 2020, Qin said that China’s image in the West has deteriorated because Europe and the US have never accepted the Chinese political system and the country’s economic rise. In Qin’s view, the People’s Republic has little to learn from the West.

From 2018 to last year, Qin served as deputy foreign minister. Before 2018, he frequently met with President Xi Jinping in his capacity as head of the Foreign Ministry’s protocol department. The diplomat previously worked for several years as a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The State Department in Washington said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expects “to continue to maintain a productive working relationship with Secretary of State Qin in his new role.” The US government will “continue to maintain open channels of communication” in order to “responsibly” shape relations with the People’s Republic of China. Blinken plans to visit Beijing in early 2023.