Maleeha Lodhi puts up a huge diplomatic show at Pakistan House in New York

NEW YORK – Pakistan’s permanent representative to United Nations Maleeha Lodhi on Friday hosted a welcome dinner for the new Chinese Ambassador to UN, Ma Zhaoxu, at Pakistan House.

The event was attended by over 30 ambassadors from all regions of the world.

They included diplomats from Italy, Russia, Kuwait, Iran, Mexico, Egypt, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Lebanon, Argentina, Oman, Peru, Brazil, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Colombia, Vietnam, Georgia, and Bangladesh.

Former foreign ministry spokesman and Chinese ambassador to Australia Ma Zhaoxu follows in the footsteps of Li Baodong, who became Beijing’s top envoy in Geneva in 2007 and then transferred to the New York post in 2010 after two and a half years.

Ma, 54, returned to Beijing last week after a 20-month stint as the country’s top envoy to the UN in Geneva.

As China’s point man at the UN headquarters will be at the forefront of a more ambitious and assertive foreign policy under President Xi Jinping.

China’s UN post in New York had been vacant for nearly four months since veteran diplomat Liu Jieyi was promoted to the deputy chief of the Taiwan Affairs Office just days ahead of the twice-a-decade Communist Party leadership shake-up in October.