Geng Shuang’s sharp responses won the hearts of many as Foreign Ministry spokesman. XINHUA
As China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, 47, has impressed people around the world with his sharp and witty remarks on domestic and international affairs.
Video clips of Geng satirizing Western politicians, laughing at ridiculous accusations and offering humorous and witty responses at press conferences have been widely circulated online and even edited with heart emojis and music.
Yet on June 5, Geng announced at a routine press conference that he will no longer hold the position of spokesman and will move to a new post.
“I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to the care, help, support and encouragement all of you have offered to me in the past nearly four years,” Geng said at the conference.
As a Chinese diplomat, wherever he is, he will continue to tell the stories of – and voices from – China, he said with tears.
Since Geng became the ministry’s 30th spokesman in September 2016, Geng has hosted about 400 news conferences and is known for his frequent use of Chinese idioms and famous sayings.
One example is his response to the comment made by Robert O’Brien, the US national security adviser, who claimed, “China covered up the virus outbreak in Wuhan”.
“Turn inward and examine yourself when you encounter difficulties in life,” Geng quoted an ancient Chinese saying and continued, “We urge the US official to respect facts and the common understanding of the international community.”
This remark won widespread praise from journalists and the public.
Another example is Geng’s response last July to Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen who commented on the “one country, two systems” policy. “There is no dignity at all when you are slavishly dependent on others … It won’t bring you anything more than a doomed fate,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, Geng showed his professional performance and personal charisma.
While he has not announced what his new post will be, people expect to hear from him sooner rather than later, just as he said at the end of his last press conference, “Someday we will meet again.”