Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 September 2020

Pompeo tweet indicates US ambassador to China is leaving

Mr Pompeo thanked Terry Branstad on Twitter for contributing to 'rebalancing US-China relations'

US ambassador to China Terry Branstad speaking at the ambassador's residence in Beijing on June 28, 2017.  AP Photo
US ambassador to China Terry Branstad speaking at the ambassador's residence in Beijing on June 28, 2017.  AP Photo

The US ambassador to China appears to be leaving his post, based on tweets posted on Monday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mr Pompeo thanked ambassador Terry Branstad on Twitter for his more than three years of service. There was no immediate confirmation from the State Department.

“Ambassador Branstad has contributed to rebalancing US-China relations so that it is results-oriented, reciprocal, and fair,” Mr Pompeo said.

Mr Branstad was embroiled in a recent controversy when China’s official People’s Daily newspaper rejected an opinion column that he had submitted. It wasn’t clear if his apparent departure was related to the piece.

Mr Pompeo said last week that China’s ruling Communist Part refused to run Mr Branstad’s op-ed while the Chinese ambassador to the United States “is free to publish in any US media outlet”.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded that Mr Branstad’s article was “full of loopholes, seriously inconsistent with facts and wantonly attacks and smears China”.

The US embassy had contacted the People’s Daily on August 26 about the piece, asking that it be printed in full without any edits by September 4.

Updated: September 14, 2020 01:11 PM

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