US ambassador to China quits over Trump climate policy

An official of China’s Giant Panda Protection and Research Center introduces Dujiangyan Panda Base to David Rank (C), the charge d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, in Sichuan province, China. (Photo: Reuters)


An official of China’s Giant Panda Protection and Research Center introduces Dujiangyan Panda Base to David Rank (C), the charge d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, in Sichuan province, China. (Photo: Reuters)

David Rank, the chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Beijing, has left the State Department over the Trump administration’s decision to quit the 2015 Paris agreement to fight climate change, a senior US official has said.

A State Department spokeswoman confirmed Mr Rank’s departure, but said she was unable to verify Twitter posts that said he resigned as he felt unable to deliver a formal notification to China of the US decision last week to quit the agreement.

“He has retired from the foreign service,” said Anna Richey-Allen, a spokeswoman for the department’s East Asia Bureau. “Mr. Rank has made a personal decision. We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department.”

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, President Donald Trump’s pick as the next US ambassador to Beijing, is expected to take up the post later this month.

A tweet from China expert John Pomfret quoted unnamed sources as saying that Rank had resigned as he could not support Trump’s decision last week to withdraw from Paris deal. 

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