China's new ambassador to South Korea will likely take office in mid-February, according to the Chinese Embassy here on Sunday.
China had requested Seoul's approval for the appointment of Qiu Guohong, the director general of the Department of External Security Affairs at the Chinese foreign ministry, in early January.
Qiu would replace former Ambassador Zhang Xinsen, who finished his four year stint as China's envoy to Seoul and returned home last month.
"After finishing the bilateral process between South Korea and China, he is likely to take office around the middle of this month," an official at the Chinese Embassy said.
Qiu, 56, built his career as an expert on Japanese affairs, having served in China's Embassy and consulate general in Japan for several terms in different capacities.
This will be his first time serving in South Korea.
The new ambassador has also served as China's envoy to Nepal and vice director general at the Chinese foreign ministry's Department of European-Central Asian Affairs.
The outgoing ambassador took office in Seoul in March 2010 as the first Chinese director-general level diplomat to be dispatched to South Korea. Before him, Beijing had picked ambassadors from the vice director general level.
Seoul and Beijing normalized relations in 1992. (Yonhap News)