left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Strong experience a hallmark of spokesperson

Updated: 2016-09-27 08:02
By Zhang Yunbi (China Daily)

Geng Shuang, former spokesman for the Chinese embassy in the United States, began another chapter in his career in Beijing on Monday as the Foreign Ministry's 30th spokesperson.

Experience at working in major countries such as the US and the United Kingdom has become an important part of the resumes of Chinese media officials as the world tracks China's diplomatic and defense strategies on a daily basis, observers said.

"I'm looking forward to working with reporters in China and globally to enhance understanding of the country's diplomatic policy and positions in a more timely, accurate, comprehensive and objective manner," Geng said before taking questions from reporters.

For about 20 minutes, he responded to questions on topics ranging from Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Canada to the Korean Peninsula situation to the Syrian crisis.

While serving as an embassy spokesman in 2011, Geng responded after a shooting at the Chinese Consulate-General in Los Angeles, stating that China had lodged a protest and called for increased security precautions. No one was injured in the shooting.

Strong experience a hallmark of spokesperson

"Such an experience (of embassy spokesman) is surely helpful to my being a Foreign Ministry spokesman. ... And I'm having a fresh start and learning everything," Geng said.

In the 1980s, the Foreign Ministry became the first Chinese ministry to create a spokesperson system.

Geng joins Hua Chunying and Lu Kang as a Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

In addition to the three who hold this position at the Foreign Ministry, there are two with the Ministry of National Defense. All have a background of working or studying in the US or Europe.

Dong Guanpeng, dean of the Academy of Media and Public Affairs at Communication University of China, said the post of spokesman or spokeswoman requires "not only language proficiency but also a capacity to tackle foreign affairs", and those with strong experience in briefing the media are more sought after.

"The spokespersons have in-depth experience in the US and Europe, and have been a contributor of (tangible) projects," Dong said. "This will help their communication with media to be more solid and constructive, minimize potential misunderstandings and manage crisis from the beginning," Dong said.

Lu served at the Chinese embassy in the US from 2012 to last year. One of Geng's predecessors, Hong Lei, also worked in Los Angeles before serving as spokesman in 2010.

Strong experience a hallmark of spokesperson

(China Daily 09/27/2016 page3)

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.