Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: China’s next ambassador to the US faces new challenges

When Qin Gang left his job this month as China’s ambassador to the United States to take up his new post as foreign minister in Beijing, he put a positive spin on his time in Washington, saying in a tweet last week how “deeply impressed” he was by many “hard-working, friendly and talented” Americans. A few days earlier, however, in an opinion piece in National Interest magazine, Qin warned that it was up to the US whether the world descended into global conflict. “The Chinese people are looking to the American people to make the right choice,” he added. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chinas-next-ambassador-us-confront-093000997.html) Even as Washington awaits Qin’s replacement – sources there and in Beijing say the lead candidate is foreign affairs vice-minister Xie Feng – inconsistent messaging by the former “wolf warrior” turned envoy underscores the complexity of US-China relations and the challenges China’s next ambassador faces.

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