China’s new VP Wang Qishan to visit Russia, Belarus on 1st overseas trip

China’s powerful new vice president, Wang Qishan, will visit Russia and Belarus starting this week, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said on Monday. This will be his first overseas trip since being appointed in March. Wang, 69, a key ally of President Xi Jinping, should have retired last year during a leadership reshuffle of the ruling Communist Party, but Xi has kept him on to add extra heft to Chinese diplomacy, Reuters said. He is expected to take a key role in managing tricky ties with Washington, having previously overseen annual economic talks with the United States. Wang will attend the St. Petersburg forum in Russia and also go to Belarus, on the May 24-29 trip.