Former Vice Premier Qian Qichen, who was China's foreign minister for a decade, died last Tuesday in Beijing. His funeral was held on May 18. Qian’s calm character saw him through many crises, and he was trusted by generations of Chinese leaders.
Hua Liming, former Chinese ambassador to Iran, told Dialogue that Qian was one of his most admirable leaders.
“Vice Premier Qian Qichen told us as Chinese foreign minister: ‘Chinese diplomacy firstly is to bridge China and the outside world; secondly is to make the outside world friendly to China, to make a peaceful and friendly atmosphere'," Hua Liming said.
"So China can focus all its energy on the economy. I think his principle is not limited to his period. His idea still works even if China is much more stronger now.”
Su Ge, president of the China Institute of International Studies, also spoke highly of Qian: “People remember him as a fighter, good teacher and also one of the very loyal sons of PRC.”
“He was probably the most senior of Chinese diplomats. Although he had a very high position, he was also very down-close to people and ordinary diplomats at the same time. Indeed, those 10 years were probably the most difficult times of diplomacy for China, from 1988 to 1998. Lots of things were happening. But he was able to carry out solutions to make China-US relations and China-Russia relations restored. In that era, China even established diplomatic relations with South Korea, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. ”
Jaime Florcruz, former CNN Beijing bureau chief and now professor at Peking University, said he was deeply impressed by Qian’s book Ten Episodes in China’s Diplomacy.
“I was fortunate to witness him up-close. I remember him as an elegant and eloquent diplomat, who was not imposing physically and talked soft and calmly. I think he simplifies the style of Chinese diplomats of this era. If you read Chinese diplomatic history, Qian’s name will be there in every chapter. ”