The script at China’s National People’s Congress, which began last Tuesday, is predetermined months before the event, but there had been speculation this week that Beijing might name a new foreign minister. Instead, it seems senior diplomat Wang Yi will continue in the role.

The world’s second-largest economy has missed a trick. While Wang is credible, highly respected and well-known, China is increasingly losing friends and influence in the world, and needs a new envoy to reset the tone and work to create some goodwill. For now, it is clear that domestic stability is leader Xi Jinping’s priority, even as tensions escalate across the region.

It is no surprise that, among the foreign policy issues Wang highlighted at an annual press briefing in Beijing, held on Thursday, the United States, Taiwan and Russia were at the top of the list, along with relations in the South China Sea.