Liu Guangyuan, a veteran diplomat, is taking over as commissioner of the ministry of foreign affairs in the SAR, replacing Xie Feng.
Liu was China’s ambassador to Poland from 2018 until last month.
Prior to that, he had served as director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s department of external security affairs, ambassador to Kenya, and minister of the Chinese Embassy in the United States.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam welcomed Liu’s appointment, saying she believes the commissioner’s office will continue to work closely with the SAR government under his leadership.
She also thanked Xie for his contribution during his time in Hong Kong and wished him all the best in his new role.
Xie, who took up the role as the head of Foreign Ministry’s office in the SAR in 2017, was made a vice foreign minister in February.
He was among a number of Beijing officials who became a lot more outspoken during Hong Kong’s social unrest in 2019, saying the anti-government protests were “terrorist in nature” and the “back-clad rioters” involved did not represent the territory’s residents.
When the national security law was introduced last summer, Xie said only a small number of people would be affected and “there is absolutely no need to panic”.