New Ambassador To U.S. From China Admits Challenges

Newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Xie Feng said on Tuesday that he would seek to promote collaboration between China and the United States but that the relationship between the two countries faces substantial difficulties.

As relations between the strategic adversaries have worsened on matters ranging from Taiwan to trade, Xie has come to be known for his often scathing rebukes of U.S. policy. 

He said he had come far to advocate for China’s rights. 

According to several experts, during Xie’s time in office, ties between the world’s two largest economies reportedly hit an all-time low.

After touching down at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Xie gave a press conference in which he proclaimed, “This is my sacred responsibility.”

He said he arrived to enhance China-U.S. cooperation and exchanges and was also the Chinese people’s envoy.

Xie, 59, has most recently served as vice foreign minister tasked with overseeing U.S. diplomacy at a time when many experts think relations between the world’s two largest economies are at their worst since they were initially founded in 1979. 

Xie said a few brief words before departing the airport in a van, during which he said the relationship was facing “serious difficulties and challenges.” According to Chinese government representatives, he planned to drive to Washington. It was a civilian airship, according to Beijing’s claims.

According to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, the United States is pleased to have Xie visit.

Miller said they are excited to work with the ambassador and his team. As the department often says, they remain committed to maintaining communication channels with the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to manage competition responsibly. 

Xie, who is bilingual and has worked twice at the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., was the one to deliver China’s formal condemnation of the United States in February for gunning down what it claimed to be a spy balloon during a diplomatic crisis sparked by the balloon’s flight over the United States. Xie has served at the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, two separate occasions.