China: The Next Foreign Minister?

The roster of Peking's staunch allies in Europe numbers precisely one— Albania. Accordingly, the Chinese dispatched a high-powered delegation to Tirana last week to help the Albanians celebrate the 25th anniversary of their liberation from Nazi occupation. At the head of the team was a man whose name and background were little known outside Peking until this summer—Li Hsien-nien, a jowly, rumpled man in his early 60s who is very likely to become China's next Foreign Minister.

A tough, pragmatic survivor of the Long March era, Li has taken on more and more of the ceremonial duties of the...

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