Beijing: China`s Foreign Minister Wang Yi will now be its key negotiator with India on the vexed border issue after Beijing promoted him on Monday to the country`s top diplomatic post of State Councillor.
Wang succeeds Yang Jiechi, China`s senior-most diplomat, who until now was the country`s Special Representative on border talks with India.
While Wang will remain the Foreign Minister, Yang`s role was not immediately known. A hawkish Yang was elected to the powerful Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party last year.
Wang will talk to India`s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval who is its Special Representative on boundary talks.
China and India by far have held 20 rounds of talks on their 3,448-km disputed border. The countries fought a war in 1962 and have seen their armies cross into each other`s territories due to the different perceptions of the boundary.
Wang repeatedly slammed India during the 73-day military stand-off at Doklam in the eastern sector of their border last year.
The crisis, which further soured the already tense ties, was resolved in August.
Wang, however, struck a positive tone about Sino-India ties while addressing the media on the sidelines of China`s ongoing annual parliament session.
Wang said if China and India were united then one plus will be equivalent to 11, a remark welcomed by India and answered in the similar tone.
India`s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale last month met Wang who had a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Wang had previously served as China`s envoy to Japan and worked at the Asia desk of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
A foreign minister`s job in China is not a top-notch one as the international units of the Communist Party has more say in the formulation of Beijing`s foreign policy.
However, Wang`s elevation indicates a bigger role for him.