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Posted at: Oct 13, 2017, 10:58 AM; last updated: Oct 13, 2017, 8:44 PM (IST)

Gautam Bambawale is new Ambassador to China

Gautam Bambawale is new Ambassador to China
Gautam Bambawale

Smita Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12

1984-batch Indian Foreign Service Officer Gautam H Bambawale has been officially appointed as India’s new ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.

Along expected lines, the assignment will be taken up shortly by Bambawale who is currently serving as India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan since February 2016.

An old China hand, Bambawale had opted for Mandarin as his foreign language and served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1985 and 1991.

He can speak Chinese and German fluently.  

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Bambawale has adequate experience of dealing with crisis with China in the past. 

During the 21-day tense standoff at Depsang in 2013, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was the ambassador in Beijing, while Gautam was dialling numbers from Delhi as Joint Secretary (East Asia) in MEA Headquarters in South Block then. Bambawale is said to share a close working experience and rapport with Jaishankar and had also served as India’s first appointed Consul General in Guangzhou in 2007.

Bambawale replaces senior diplomat and 1981-batch IFS officer Vijay Gokhale, who will be homeward bound soon to take up his new assignment as Secretary Economic Relations in MEA. 

In his diplomatic career, Gautam has held wide ranging assignments, including Director in Americas Division of the Ministry shaping up relations with US and Canada, Director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Berlin, Germany between 1994-98, as well as Deputy Chief for the Division of National Security Affairs, Defence and International Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office in the past and serving as Ambassador to Bhutan prior to his Pakistan posting. 

Indian envoy to Poland and Lithuania, Ajay Bisaria is likely to succeed Gautam Bambawale in Islamabad as High Commissioner. 


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