China sets up new wing in Foreign Ministry to protect economy
Beijing: Facing a slowdown, China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday set up a new wing to safeguard national economic security by stepping up the country's global trade and investments.
The Department of International Economic Affairs was inaugurated at a function attended by State Councillor Dai Bingguo and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi here on Tuesday.
The new department will assist China's economic governance and cooperation with other nations, implement the win-win strategy of opening up, safeguard national interests and economic security, and promote world economic growth and the common development of all countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
It will assume responsibility for international economic affairs including preparation for, and follow-up actions resulting from Chinese leaders' attendance at significant events such as the G20 and APEC summits, and meetings of BRICS countries, he told a media briefing here.
The new department was formed as Chinese economy slowed with predictions by World Bank that its GDP would decline from 9.3 percent last year to 7.6 percent this year.
It was expected to step up China's investment abroad in order to make for the declining exports due to slow down in US and EU markets.
Hong said the department will jointly work with other Chinese government organs to make arrangements for China to cooperate in economic and development fields within the United Nations' and other international and regional cooperation frameworks.
It will also focus on research work concerning issues such as global economic governance, the international economic and financial situation, and regional economic cooperation, he said.
Zhang Jun, former Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands, was appointed as the first chief of the newly established department.