Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs
Date of Birth: August 1955
Place of Birth: Shanxi Province
The cultivation of ties with the African Union is a lynchpin of China's courtship of the continent. To this end, China has built a new conference centre at the AU's headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and stepped up its financial and institutional support. At the AU summit in July, Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin put in an appearance, meeting with AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping of Gabon. Liu promised further support for the AU's activities.
Liu's remit at the Foreign Ministry is treaty and law, giving him oversight of some of China's more contentious borders. That includes the troubled one with India, as well as the competing claims to the mineral wealth of the South China Sea.
He also is involved in China's peacekeeping efforts, such as its contributions to the UN missions in Sudan and Liberia. Humanitarian aid also falls under his purview. China, having suffered several devastating natural disasters in recent years, is trying to make emergency relief a specialty, as seen in recent efforts after the Haiti earthquake.
Liu was born in 1955 in Shanxi Province. He attended Peking University, taking a bachelor's in 1978 and a master's in law in 1981. Joining the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Department of Treaty and Law the following year, he rose through the Department's ranks to become its Director-General in 2003. Along the way were secondments to the UN Office in Geneva (1992-1995) and New York (2006-2009). He was appointed Assistant Minister in 2009, serving under Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.