Top US Diplomat in China Quits Over Trump Climate Policy

Local politicos divided over Paris Climate Accord pullout
Obama says Paris climate agreement still has a chance
Author

07 June, 2017

America's top diplomat in China has resigned over President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from a landmark climate change treaty, two sources told NBC News Monday.

Rank assumed the position of Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy Beijing in January 2016.

Veteran China reporter John Pomfret tweeted the news yesterday, citing unnamed sources which said that Rank "couldn't back Trump on climate" and had found himself unable to deliver a formal notification to the Chinese government regarding the USA withdrawal from the worldwide accord.

The formal process to withdraw from the Paris agreement takes four years, but Trump said the United States will not honour the pledge submitted by the Obama administration.

He was No. 2 at the embassy, in charge pending the arrival of Trump's new ambassador to China, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who was confirmed by the Senate last month.

Gov. Jerry Brown told The Associated Press at an global clean energy conference in Beijing that Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Paris agreement will ultimately prove only a temporary setback.

Feldman, who was a political appointee in the Obama administration, lamented the loss of Rank - and others like him - from the State Department, saying the administration was "losing incredibly gifted officers at a moment when the US needed them more than any other time in recent history". Meanwhile, the State Department itself has confirmed that Rank plans to retire from the foreign service, but did not speak on the reason for his decision.

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A few hours later, Lewis Lukens, the acting ambassador of the U.S. Embassy in Britain, used the U.S. Embassy Twitter account to say Khan had shown "strong leadership" in responding to the London Bridge terrorist attack.

The acceptance of Chacon's resignation was first reported by the DiploPundit website. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was among Trump advisers who had been quietly lobbying for the U.S.to stay in the pact.

Chacon could not immediately be reached for comment.

The state department said the embassy's economics councillor Jonathan Fritz would be filling in behind Mr Rank immediately.

Rank has worked in the USA foreign service for 27 years.

In doing so, he has reneged on the US' commitment to the principle on common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which the country as a Party to the Convention is still obligated to abide by.


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