U.S. Ambassador to Beijing to Step Down Amid U.S.-China Conflict Without Revealing Reason September 15 at 0:57 AM
The U.S. State Department has announced that Ambassador Branstad, who has been stationed in Beijing since 2017, will step down as conflicts between the United States and China continue, including measures to restrict the activities of diplomats from each other. The reason for his resignation has not been disclosed.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing issued a statement on the evening of the 14th, announcing that Ambassador Branstad would step down early next month.
According to the statement, Ambassador Branstad announced his resignation by telephone to President Trump last week, but the reason has not been disclosed.
Prior to the announcement, Secretary of State Pompeo wrote on Twitter, “Ambassador Branstad has contributed to making U.S.-China relations mutually rich and fair. Thank you for the ambassador’s more than three years of service.”
Mr. Branstad, who served as governor of Midwestern Iowa, is known for his long-standing friendship with President Xi Jinping and has served as ambassador since 2017 after the inauguration of the Trump administration.
However, during his term in office, relations between the United States and China deteriorated over China’s enforcement of the Hong Kong National Security Act and trade frictions, and this month, the conflict between the two countries has been intensifying, with China taking similar steps to restrict the activities of American diplomats in response to the U.S. taking steps to oblige Chinese diplomats to have permission to meet with local government officials and other officials.
Ambassador to WeiBo of the Chinese version of Twitter
Ambassador Branstad, in a statement to Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, said, “I am extremely honored to represent the President of the United States and the American people over the last three years. We are rebalanced our U.S.-China relations so that our two countries can proceed to fair, equal and positive growth, and our efforts will continue.”
On that basis, he said, “When I leave my post, I feel as optimistic as I was when I arrived here. I met so many wonderful people in China. My wife Chris and I will never forget your warm hospitality.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman “note the Twitter of the U.S. announcement”
“We are paying attention to 斌 announced by the U.S. side,” a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liu Wenji, said at a press conference on Wednesday. We have not yet received a notice that Ambassador Branstad will step down.”