NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — India has appointed Gautam H Bambawale as its next Ambassador to China. He is currently serving as India's High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Bambawale's appointment comes at a time when both India and China are trying to put the Doklam experience them and peacefully resolve thorny issues.
Ambassador Bambawale is considered a deft hand in Sino-India relations as he has already served in Beijing in various capacities including that of the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy in Beijing.
"Much of his diplomatic career so far has involved assignments in or with regard to China where he has had enormous experience of dealing with China and various issues in India-China relations including border standoffs," Prof Swaran Singh of the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University told Sputnik.
Bambawale was appointed as the first Consul General of India in Guangzhou, China in 2007 and after that, he was called back to India to take up the important assignment of joint secretary in the foreign ministry looking after the East Asia affairs. While on the East Asia bench, Bambawale was credited with hard negotiations with China along with looking after relations with Japan, South Korea, and other regional countries.
Last year, Bambawale was appointed Indian ambassador to Pakistan to replace TCA Raghavan.
"His most recent posting as High Commissioner to Pakistan will also be helpful given that close relations between China and Pakistan have been a perennial challenge for India's policymakers. In view of the not-so-smooth interactions between New Delhi and Beijing over the last few years, Ambassador Gautam Bambawale has an important task ahead. He needs to use his enormous experience and finesse to take China-India relations out of its current morass of frequent irritants," Prof Swaran Singh said.
Bambawale is fluent in Mandarin as he had opted to learn the language upon his selection as an Indian Foreign Service officer in 1985.