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Beijing envoy

New Delhi, June 30: India today announced Nalin Surie as its new ambassador to China, reports our special correspondent.

Surie, a 1972 Indian Foreign Service officer, has been at the foreign ministryís East Asia desk which has been dealing with China for the last three years. Earlier this year, he was made an additional secretary.

Surie replaces Shiv Shankar Menon who has been appointed high commissioner to Pakistan.

Menon is likely to take up his new post by July 10.

It is likely that Ashok Kanth, who has recently returned home after a stint as consul-general in Hong Kong, will now head the East Asia desk.

Menonís tenure was to end in August, but now that he is being pulled out of Beijing, Surie may be sent there shortly to ensure the top post does not lie vacant for long.

Though it was no secret that Surie would bag the post, the official announcement had to wait until Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned from China.

The Prime Minister signed a number of important agreements with China during his trip, including pacts to resolve the boundary dispute and boost bilateral trade.

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