New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's former ambassador to China has been appointed the new top diplomat in India's foreign ministry. The 1981 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer Vijay Keshav Gokhale will be the new Foreign Secretary; he is currently holding the position of secretary (economic relations) in the foreign ministry and will succeed S Jaishankar whose tenure will end on January 28 this year. Gokhale came back from his China assignment in October 2017.
Govt of India appoints top diplomat who helped bring peace with China after Doklam standoff — Vijay Keshav Gokhale — as the next Foreign Secretary of India. pic.twitter.com/3uph8SRJla— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) January 2, 2018
"Gokhale has had many of his assignments in China and Southeast Asia that also reflects what is seen as most important for India's foreign policy in general. The appointment of Vijay Gokhale confirms to what is becoming a convention of India's Ambassadors to Beijing becoming Foreign Secretary," Professor Swaran Singh, foreign relations expert and professor at the School of International Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University told Sputnik.
However, experts add that such an appointment may not necessarily indicate a reduction in priority of American diplomacy for India.
"This is not to say that Washington DC has become less important to New Delhi," Professor Singh added.