• Reuters

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Diplomats returning from overseas postings don’t usually receive special attention at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a vast government bureaucracy with thousands of staff.

But when Zhao Lijian, a diplomat known for his pugnacious social media presence, finished a posting in Pakistan in August, he received an enthusiastic welcome in Beijing. A group of young admirers at the ministry gathered at his office to cheer his return, according to two people familiar with the matter.

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