China’s new ambassador to the United States arrives on Tuesday

But Xie’s arrival suggests that Beijing may want to reduce this bilateral acrimony. And it follows a two-day meeting earlier this month in Vienna between National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, which both sides described as “frank, substantive and constructive”. Xie’s dispatch from Beijing follows Biden’s prediction at a Sunday press conference at the end of the G-7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan that bilateral relations “will start to unfreeze very soon.” .

The timing of Xie taking office “indicates a thaw … but will not reverse or halt the path of risk reduction that both parties have embarked on,” said Ivan Kanapathy, former director for China, Taiwan and the Mongolia to National Security. Advice.

The State Department declined to comment and the Chinese Embassy did not respond to a request for comment.

Xie was chosen as ambassador rather than Deputy Foreign Minister Hua Chunying, a Washington, DC-based diplomat who specializes in Chinese foreign policy told POLITICO in January. As a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua became famous for sharp-tongued repression against foreign critics. The choice of Xie by Chinese leaders may signal a preference for a less caustic interlocutor to assuage bilateral antipathy.

But Xie has her own record of wolf warrior-style diplomacy. In his previous post as Foreign Ministry Commissioner in Hong Kong, Xie denounced foreign criticism of the territory’s often heavy-handed police response to pro-democracy protesters in 2019 and blamed the unrest on shadowy ‘foreign forces’. . Xie led a frosty meeting with Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in July 2021 during which he berated her for what he called a “very wrong mindset and dangerous policy” of administration towards China.

Xie sent Sherman home with a “List of American Wrongdoings That Must End” and a “List of Key Individual Cases of Concern to China” to make sure she got the message.

Xie might rethink the wisdom of that approach now that he’s Xi’s right-hand man in the US

“Wolf warrior diplomacy is not going very well in Washington and I would be very surprised if he was more of a wolf warrior than a problem solver,” said Susan Shirk, former deputy undersecretary of state for the United States. Clinton administration.


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