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China Sends New Ambassador to US       07/29 06:18

   

   BEIJING (AP) -- China's new ambassador to the United States outlined the 
challenges the two countries face in what has become an increasingly 
competitive and contentious relationship, while refraining from any criticism 
in short remarks after arriving to take up his new post.

   "China and the United States are entering a new round of mutual exploration, 
understanding and adaptation, trying to find a way to get along with each other 
in the new era," Qin Gang said in remarks posted by the Chinese Embassy in 
Washington after his arrival Wednesday.

   Qin's arrival comes as relations with the U.S. have plunged to their worst 
level in decades with no sign of bottoming out. The two sides remain sharply at 
odds over a host of issues, including trade, technology, cybersecurity, human 
rights and China's increasingly assertive foreign policy under President Xi 
Jinping.

   Qin, 55, most recently was one of China's nine vice foreign ministers and 
has been ministry spokesperson twice, gaining a reputation for tart responses 
that have now become standard fare among those in that position.

   "His open remarks towards the West and the U.S. are tougher than Chinese 
ambassadors of previous terms," said Shi Yinhong, professor of international 
relations at Renmin University in Beijing.

   The U.S. currently has no ambassador in Beijing, although President Joe 
Biden is expected to nominate Nicholas Burns, a former ambassador to NATO and 
State Department spokesperson.

   Relations between the countries nosedived under Biden's predecessor, Donald 
Trump, but high-level meetings this week in Tianjin, China, again lay bare the 
deep divisions between them.

   Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng told U.S. Deputy Secretary of State 
Wendy Sherman that the United States was the "inventor, and patent and 
intellectual property owner" of coercive diplomacy.

   In a separate meeting with Sherman, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said 
China would not tolerate what it considered U.S. interference in its internal 
affairs and key development interests.

   Sherman, in an interview after the meetings, said human rights are not just 
an internal matter and called on China to work with the United States on global 
issues as a responsible great power.

   Qin replaces Cui Tiankai, who was ambassador to the United States for eight 
years during a steady deterioration in ties.

   Qin served three tours at the Chinese Embassy in London and headed the 
Protocol Department but has not held any positions directly responsible for 
relations with the U.S., according to his official resume on the ministry 
website.

   As head of protocol, he worked directly with Xi and has extensive experience 
accompanying Chinese leaders abroad.

   Shi cautioned that the state of U.S.-China relations would limit the 
influence of any ambassador.

   "Under the current circumstances of full-on competition and struggle between 
China and the U.S., I don't think any ambassador could have a significant 
impact on relations, no matter whether he is intended to be tougher or milder 
in implementing policies," he said.

 
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