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Ranking US diplomat in China resigns
March 24 2018, 11:43 | Jonathan Williams
US Diplomat to China David Rank
A career foreign service officer since 1990, Rank assumed the position of deputy chief of mission at the USA embassy in Beijing in January 2016 and had been serving until the arrival of Trump's pick for the job, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who was confirmed by Congress late last month.
The news of Rank's resignation follows a dust-up over some tweets from the charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in London.
On Tuesday, the network morning shows were delighted by the news that diplomat David Rank had resigned from his post as Acting U.S. Ambassador to China over President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate deal.
Meanwhile, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg submitted a statement to the United Nations on Monday that over 1,000 U.S. governors, mayors, businesses, universities and others will continue to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement abandoned by Trump last week. Trump said he would negotiate to possibly re-enter the agreement, which most of the world has already ratified, on new terms.
Speaking at a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, Trump said he was withdrawing the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement, a move that would have profound effects on the planet and deepen a rift with American allies. "India signed the Paris agreement not because of pressure from any country nor greed". Rank has made a personal decision.
"He has retired from the foreign service", said Anna Richey-Allen, a spokeswoman for the State Department's East Asia Bureau. "We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department", US embassy spokesperson Mary Beth Polley told AFP. He couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Rank's resignation was first reported by John Pomfret, editor-at-large for the website, SupChina.
It was Lewis A. Lukens, acting U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, who Sunday tweeted support to London Mayor Sadiq Khan hours after the president had publicly criticized him after the Saturday night terror attacks in the city.
Rank, who speaks Mandarin Chinese, French, Dari and Greek, was a China hand who was on his fourth tour in China.
Former Ambassador Dan Feldman, Rank's supervisor for five years, called him a "quintessentially professional foreign service officer", adding that he was "thoughtful, calm, judicious, non-political" and someone "you want representing the US government overseas".
Dan Feldman, who was the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan when Rank was a senior adviser there, said Rank was the quintessential, nonpolitical diplomat.