Zhang Ming, China's ambassador to the European Union, has taken a new post as the secretary general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization for a term of three years that began January 1.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbi confirmed the appointment on January 5 at a regular news briefing in Beijing, saying Zhang is a veteran diplomat with rich experience in multilateral diplomacy.
"I'm sure he will push for new progress in the SCO just like his predecessors," Wang said.
Wang said as the host country of the SCO Secretariat, China will continue to support the Secretariat and the secretary-general and work with other parties to uphold the Shanghai Spirit.
"We stand ready to deepen political, security, trade, connectivity and cultural cooperation with all parties, build a closer SCO community with a shared future and contribute the SCO's strength to promoting peace and development in the region and the world," he added.
The appointment makes Zhang the first Chinese head of the SCO since veteran diplomat Zhang Deguang, the first secretary-general of the organization, left office in 2006.