NEW DELHI (TIP): India’s envoy to China Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has been appointed as the next Ambassador to the US and his position in Beijing will be taken by Ashok K Kantha. Both Jaishankar and Kantha are from 1977-batch IFS. Significantly, both appointments come ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to these countries. Singh is leaving for the US on September 25 and is expected to visit China next month. Both the diplomats are expected to take up their respective assignment shortly, Ministry of External Affairs said today. Jaishankar will replace Nirupama Rao. Ashok Kantha is currently Secretary (East) in the MEA and has served in Malaysia and Sri Lanka among other postings. The country’s envoy to Beijing since August 2009, Jaishankar’s name was making rounds for the position of Foreign Secretary after Ranjan Mathai. However, the Prime Minister opted for the seniority and appointed Sujatha Singh as the Foreign Secretary.