As the former Chinese ambassador to the U.S. says farewell, his comments signal that the relationship between the U.S. and China could be warming slightly.
- After stepping down as the Chinese representative in Washington, D.C., newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang praised Americans.
- “I have been deeply impressed by so many hard-working, friendly, and talented American people that I met,” he says in a tweet.
- Qin’s comments show that the relationship between the U.S. and China could shift. In recent months tensions have grown over Taiwan.
- Further comments from the ambassador indicated that China could shift toward a more friendly diplomatic approach. Qin added that he would “support the growth of China-U.S. relations.”
Why it’s news
After several years of tension between the countries, efforts from the Biden administration to smooth things over appear to be working. A November meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping sparked a friendlier attitude.
Later this year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to visit China, which may foster friendly relationships.
Much of the tension between the two countries has centered around Taiwan. When Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August, Chinese officials responded by conducting military drills near the island nation. China has long sought to control Taiwan.
Just a week ago, Chinese forces conducted more military drills near Taiwan.
Throughout his year-long service in the U.S., Qin represented a more friendly approach from Chinese officials. His comments on hotly debated topics were fairly moderate. For example, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Qin stated that the Chinese government would have dissuaded Russian officials if they had been aware of Russian intentions.
Qin was also known to participate in more light-hearted diplomacy, such as shooting free throws with the Washington Wizards and taking a ride in a Tesla with Elon Musk.
Wang Yi previously filled Qin’s new role. Over the weekend, Wang was promoted to the top foreign-policy position in the Chinese Communist Party. In a statement announcing his new role, Wang said he would be working to create new guidelines for U.S. and Chinese relations. These guidelines would “correct course,” though Wang did not explain these comments further.