New Chinese envoy aims to improve bilateral ties amid tensions

China's new Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang makes remarks to Chinese and US media upon arrival in the United States on July 28, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING: China’s new ambassador to the United States, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, pledged to work to get bilateral relations back on track amid a period fraught with tension.

“Looking forward to the coming time in the country,” said Qin Gang (pic), China’s new top diplomat to the US, in his first Twitter post after landing in New York on Wednesday afternoon.

The 55-year-old former vice-foreign minister of China was greeted upon arrival by Li Kexin, deputy chief of mission of the Chinese Embassy; Huang Ping, China’s consul general in New York, and other Chinese diplomats in the US, according to a statement by the Chinese embassy.

Qin will assume office as China’s 11th ambassador to the US, following the departure of his predecessor, Cui Tiankai, who completed his tenure of eight years and returned to China on June 23.

Qin’s service at the Chinese embassy in Washington DC comes at a time when the bilateral relationship is viewed by many experts as being in a downward spiral, as the two countries have collided on an array of different issues.

There’s also an emerging bipartisan push from the US towards confrontation and competition with China, as some politicians have hyped the perception of China as an adversary or threat.

During his first media briefing with Chinese and American reporters upon arriving, Qin recalled Henry Kissinger’s secret trip to China 50 years ago, which opened the door to the normalisation of Sino-American relations.

“Fifty years later today, as the 11th Chinese ambassador to the US, I can travel most openly and fly directly to this country.

“How the world has changed with the passage of time!” Qin said.

“I believe that the door of China-US relations, which is already open, cannot be closed.

“This is the trend of the world, the call of the times, and the will of the people.” — China Daily/ANN

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