The spotlight is focusing on Le Yucheng, China’s Vice Foreign Minister. He was once the top candidate for China’s foreign minister post. But his latest job transfer might put an end to this future.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Hong Kong media Singtao Daily revealed that Le Yucheng would be transferred to China’s National Radio and Television Administration. However, he will serve as deputy director, which means he will remain at the deputy minister level.

Meanwhile, Nie Chenxi, director of the National Radio and Television Administration, will reach the retirement age of 65 this July, but Le Yucheng may not become his successor.

However, South China Morning Post—another top Hong Kong news outlet—quoted an insider saying that Le Yucheng would become head of China’s National Radio and Television Administration. Thus he would be promoted to a minister-level official.

However, this would also mean that Le Yucheng would miss the chance to replace Wang Yi to become China’s next foreign minister.

Le Yucheng is the first-ranked vice minister of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is also the only alternate member of the Central Committee among all the vice foreign ministers. The Central Committee comprises hundreds of the most influential people within the Communist Party. He was initially regarded as a top candidate for the next foreign minister.

Although Le Yucheng has no experience in media and propaganda, he has frequently made public statements about China’s diplomatic stance in recent years.

For example, after President Xi met Russia’s President Putin in Beijing on February 4th, Le Yucheng briefed state media on the meeting. He told reporters that ties between the two countries had “no upper limit.”

Still, if Le Yucheng becomes the head of the National Radio and Television Administration, he would likely become a full member of the Central Committee during the party’s next national congress this fall.

The Chinese Communist Party national congress takes place every five years to pick the next top round of leadership posts.

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