Trusted Xi ally a rising influence on China's foreign policy

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (SHEE JIN'-ping) appears to be increasingly relying on friend and trusted adviser Wang Qishan (chee-SHAN') to guide the country's foreign policy amid trade and territorial disputes with the U.S., Japan and others.

The 69-year-old Wang was appointed China's vice president in March, but exercises outsized influence in the historically symbolic position despite standing down from the ruling Communist Party's leading body over age restrictions.

Among Xi's advisers, Wang appears to hold a special place dating from the time the two men worked as farm laborers during the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. As Xi's close confidant, Wang's status rises above those of both Foreign Minister Wang Yi and senior foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi.