Liu Jianchao (simplified Chinese: 刘建超; traditional Chinese: 劉建超; pinyin: Liú Jiànchāo; born February 23, 1964, Jilin Province) is the current Ambassador of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the Republic of Indonesia. He was formerly the chief spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the former director-general of its Information Department. From March 2009 to December 2011, Liu was Chinese ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines.
He studied International Relations at Oxford University from 1986 to 1987 and then began work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its Translation Office. He went on to hold various positions in departments and embassies, including the first secretary of the PRC embassy in the United Kingdom from 1995 to 1998, counselor at the Information Department from 1998 to 2000, and deputy director-general of the Information Department from 2001 to 2006. He was also seconded to Liaoning Province as the deputy secretary of the CPC Xingcheng Municipal Committee from 2000 to 2001. In March 2006 it was announced that he would be replacing Kong Quan as the director-general of the Information Department as well as the chief spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During his tenure as chief spokesman for the ministry, Liu took questions on a wide variety of issues to do with China's relations with the world. For instance, interviewed about the 2008 Summer Olympics and access to the Internet from inside China, he once recognized that "some websites are difficult to access from China". In December 2008, he said that the government had a right to censor Web sites that violated the country's laws.
China's official Xinhua News Agency commented that "Liu was known for his sedate and humorous style in briefing reporters on China's foreign affairs." An example of this was his response on the shoe-throwing incident against US President Bush, where he said that the incident had given him "pause for thought" and that he would henceforth watch out for journalists taking off their shoes.
In January 2009, Liu was replaced as the director-general of the Information Department as well as the head spokesperson of the ministry by Ma Zhaoxu. At his farewell reception attended by ministry officials and journalists, Liu expressed his pleasure and gratitude at being able to participate in the Information Department's work in a period of complex and rapid changes for both China and the world. "The world is concerned about China; China also needs to understand the world. Strengthening mutual understanding and communication between China and the world is a beneficial thing."
Liu was subsequently appointed as the ambassador to the Philippines. He presented his letter of credence in March 2009. Shortly before his departure from Manila after he completed his term as ambassador, President Aquino awarded him the Order of Sikatuna, with the rank of Datu, Grand Cross, Gold Distinction for his “important contribution in further strengthening and deepening the foundation of important and strategic bilateral relations with the People’s Republic of China, for his outstanding and dedicated service in the field of international relations and for having been an exceptionally worthy and competent representative of his government to the Philippines…”
Liu was later appointed as Chinese ambassador to Indonesia. He presented his letter of credence to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on 9 March 2012.
Liu is married with one son.
- "Press conference by Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Qin Gang" (in Chinese). Xinhua. 2006-03-21. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- (in French) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ajr1_telezapping-les-jo-censures_news
- "After brief Olympic thaw, China steps up Web censorship". International Herald Tribune. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "New head of information department in China's Foreign Ministry". People's Daily. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "Sole-searching in China after shoe attack on Bush". Reuters. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "Spokesman on alert for more than questions". China Daily. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "Ma Zhaoxu succeeds as director of the Foreign Ministry's Information Department" (in Chinese). Xinhua. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "Ma Zhaoxu succeeds Liu Jianchao as director of the Foreign Ministry's Information Department" (in Chinese). People's Daily. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "Liu Jianchao appointed Ambassador to Philippines". Xinhua. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- "President Hu appoints new ambassadors". China.org.cn. 2009-04-10. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- "Ambassador Liu Jianchao Presents His Letter of Credence to H.E. President Arroyo". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China. 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-06-18.