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Newsline: China’s new ambassador to US acknowledges difficulties in relations

China’s new ambassador to Washington Xie Feng said on Tuesday that he will seek to enhance China-U.S. cooperation, but that relations face serious challenges. “I have come here to safeguard China’s interest. This is my sacred responsibility,” Xie told reporters after landing at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. “I’m also the envoy of Chinese people, so I’ve come here to enhance China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation,” said Xie. (https://neuters.de/world/new-chinese-ambassador-us-acknowledges-challenges-relations-2023-05-23/) Xie, 59, afluent English speaker who was previously posted twice to China’s Washington embassy, most recently served as a vice foreign minister charged with overseeing policy toward the U.S. The two countries’ relations face “serious difficulties and challenges,” Xie said in his brief remarks. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the U.S. welcomed Xie’s arrival. “We look forward to working with the ambassador designate and his team. We remain committed, as we said on a number of occasions, to maintain channels of communication with the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to responsibly manage competition,” Miller said. Xie has taken a confrontational tone in past meetings with Biden administration officials, including when hosting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in 2021 in Tianjin, where he issued a long list of demands for the U.S. to improve ties while accusing Washington of creating an “imaginary enemy” in China. Nonetheless, Xie’s arrival at the embassy post, which has been vacant since his predecessor Qin Gang was elevated to foreign minister late last year, could help Beijing parry criticism that it has ignored the Biden administration’s calls for increased engagement.

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