China’s incoming ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that China-US relations face “serious difficulties and challenges,” but he hopes to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
Earlier in the day, Xie Feng arrived in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, where he told reporters that he came to “protect China’s interests.”
“I’m also a Chinese people’s envoy, so I’ve come here to strengthen China-US exchanges and cooperation,” he continued.
“President Xi Jinping has put forward the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation, which represent the fundamental and right way for the two countries to get along with each other in the new era,” he later tweeted.
“At the moment, the China-US relationship faces significant difficulties and challenges.” My appointment represents both honour and huge responsibility to me. “With diligence and fortitude, my colleagues and I will carry out our responsibilities and live up to our mission,” he continued.
“During my posting, I am looking forward to engaging extensively with American people from all walks of life, observing and learning about the country from a close distance, and exploring ways to deepen our exchanges and cooperation,” Xie said.
Xie, 59, is a career diplomat who specialises in US-China relations and was just appointed vice foreign minister. He takes over for Qin Gang, who departed Washington to become China’s foreign minister in January.
The United States welcomed Xie’s visit, adding that they “look forward to working with the ambassador designate and his team.”
“We remain committed, as we’ve stated on numerous occasions, to maintaining channels of communication with the PRC to responsibly manage competition,” Miller said during a daily news conference, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have been strained in recent months, particularly following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August and the Chinese spy balloon incident in February, which forced Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a scheduled visit to China.
On Sunday, US Vice President Joe Biden predicted a “thaw” in US-China relations, saying, “And then this silly balloon that was carrying two goods cars’ worth of spying equipment was flying over the United States, and it got shot down, and everything changed in terms of talking to one another.” “I believe you’ll see that start to thaw very soon.”
Biden made the statements during a news conference in Hiroshima, where he was attending the G-7 leaders’ summit.