China announced the appointment of a new foreign minister on Friday as part of sweeping cabinet changes, the Financial Times reported. It is thought the reshuffle is intended to refresh senior government ranks ahead of the Communist Party congress in the autumn. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, who has already passed the usual retirement age for ministers and was expected to step down after the National People's Congress in March 2008, was replaced by Yang Jie. As a former US ambassador, Yang could offer a fresh approach to rising trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. Another notable appointment was Wan Gang, who was named minister for science and technology. He is the first non-party member to be admitted to the cabinet since the mid-1950s. Meanwhile, Xu Shaoshi replaced Sun Wensheng as the land and resources minister, and Chen Lei took over the water resources brief from Wang Shucheng.