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China names 'wolf warrior' as new ambassador to US

July 29, 2021

The new envoy has vowed to bring US-China ties "back on track" at a time when both sides are clashing on a wide range of issues, from trade and technology to human rights and foreign policy.

China's Ambassador to the US, Qin Gang
Qin Gang served as one of China's nine vice foreign ministers from 2018 to 2021Image: Liu Jie/Xinhua News Agency/picture alliance

China has named Qin Gang, a 55-year-old hawkish diplomat, as the country's new ambassador to the United States.

Qin, a close confidante of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is taking up the key role amid high tensions between Washington and Beijing over a range of issues.

"As two big countries different in history, culture, social system and development stage, China and the United States are entering a new round of mutual exploration, understanding and adaptation, trying to find a way to get along with each other," Qin told reporters on his arrival in Washington, D.C.

The new envoy vowed to bring US-China ties "back on track," according to a transcript released by the Chinese Embassy.

Qin tweeted from a new official account that he will begin a 14-day quarantine in residence and "get down to work soon."

What do we know about the new ambassador?

Qin served as one of China's nine vice foreign ministers from 2018 to 2021.

He also headed the Foreign Ministry's Protocol Department, where he worked directly with President Xi and accumulated extensive experience accompanying Chinese leaders on their overseas trips.

He has been a spokesperson for the ministry twice, gaining a reputation for being a vigorous defender of Chinese policies in the face of increasing criticism on the world stage.

The aggressive style of defending China in the press and on social media is described as "Wolf Warrior" diplomacy.

The 55-year-old envoy is regarded as more combative than his predecessor in Washington, Cui Tiankai. 

Qin began his career in diplomacy in 1988 and he spent several years at the Chinese Embassy in London. He is a fluent English speaker.

What is the current state of US-China ties?

Relations between the US and China have been strained in recent years, with both sides clashing on a wide array of issues, ranging from trade and technology to human rights and foreign policy.

Tensions ran high during President Donald Trump's time in office, when the US administration imposed trade tariffs and technology restrictions on China. 


President Joe Biden has continued Trump's confrontational stance, describing China as the preeminent challenge to the US.

How China is reining In its tech titans

In a recent meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China would not tolerate what it considered US interference in its internal affairs and key development interests.

Sherman responded by saying that human rights are not just an internal matter and called on China to work with the United States on global issues as a responsible great power.

sri/nm (AP, AFP)