China is sending Vice President Han Zheng to represent the country at UN General Assembly session

Sep 15, 2023, 2:25 AM

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China is sending Vice President Han Zheng to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday, suggesting that the country’s most senior diplomat, Wang Yi, will not attend.

This year’s gathering of world leaders at United Nations headquarters in New York starts Monday with a sustainability summit. The weeklong general debate gets underway on Tuesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has not attended the U.N. session in person for several years. He participated via video conference during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wang Yi attended last year and generally represented China at the U.N. Wang is the head of the foreign affairs committee of China’s Communist Party. He was not mentioned in the ministry’s announcement.

Zheng is a past member of the Politburo Standing Committee, an elite group of leaders within the party. He retired from that position but assumed the position of vice president in March.

Zheng’s continued political career parallels the one of Wang Qishan, who played an influential role in the past several years in managing the tense U.S.-China relationship. Wang led the Communist Party’s disciplinary body and was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee. He retired at the end of 2017 but was brought back to serve as vice president in 2018.

The absence of Beijing’s top leader at the General Assembly may not be as conspicuous as Xi not attending the Group of 20 summit that took place in India earlier this month.

The British government announced in August that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would not attend the upcoming U.N. French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin also do not plan to be there.


Associated Press

Arizona man sold firearms to undercover FBI agent for mass shooting, indictment says

PHOENIX (AP) — A firearms dealer in Arizona sold weapons to an undercover federal agent he believed would help him carry out his plan for a mass shooting targeting minorities, an attack that he hoped would “incite a race war,” according to a federal grand jury indictment. Mark Adams Prieto was indicted Tuesday by the […]

21 minutes ago

Associated Press

Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon governor who confessed to sex with a minor in the 1970s, has died

Neil Goldschmidt, a former Oregon governor whose confession that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s blackened what had been a nearly sterling reputation, has died. He was 83. Goldschmidt died at his Portland home on Wednesday, The Oregonian reported, according to family members. The newspaper said the reported cause was heart […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged with robbing a California bank was released from prison a day earlier, prosecutors say

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man charged with taking three people hostage while robbing a Southern California bank last month had been released from prison a day earlier, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The 53-year-old was indicted on robbery charges after investigators said he claimed to have a gun, jumped over the teller counter and […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Woman with gun taken into custody after standoff at FBI building in Seattle, authorities say

SEATTLE (AP) — A woman armed with a handgun was taken into custody after an hourlong standoff at the FBI building in Seattle on Wednesday, authorities said. The woman walked into a publicly accessible area where people have to wait to be buzzed into the lobby, according to FBI spokesperson Steve Bernd. She pointed the […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Democrats in Congress say federal mediators should let airline workers strike when it’s ‘necessary’

A group of 32 senators say federal mediators should speed up labor negotiations between airlines and their flight attendants and other workers, even granting them permission to go on strike “as necessary.” The lawmakers said Wednesday that airlines feel no pressure to reach contract agreements quickly because federal law makes it difficult for airline workers […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Florida’s DeSantis cuts $1B to bring state budget to $116.5B, slightly less than the current plan

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spent more than an hour talking about what is in the $116.5 billion he signed Monday, but he left out the most important part of the announcement: What was in the nearly $1 billion he vetoed. Overall, the state spending plan is slightly lower than the current […]

6 hours ago

China is sending Vice President Han Zheng to represent the country at UN General Assembly session