Report: Former Acting Ambassador To China Resigned Over Paris Accord Exit

Lin hui - Imaginechina

CNN reported Monday that the one-time acting United States ambassador to China resigned from the State Department over President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to unnamed sources familiar with the decision.

Earlier Monday, SupChina editor-at-large John Pomfret wrote on Twitter that unnamed sources had said the official who resigned, David Rank, did so because he “couldn’t back Trump on climate.”

Trump’s nominee for the ambassadorship, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, was sworn in as ambassador on May 24. The Senate confirmed him for the position on May 22.

Rank was a career foreign service officer who in January 2016 became deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, CNN reported.

“Mr. Rank made a personal decision,” an unnamed senior State Department official told the network. “We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department.”

CNN noted the official did not name Trump’s Paris accord withdrawal as the explicit motivation for Rank’s resignation, but the network cited “several” unnamed “sources familiar with the decision,” who indicated, in CNN’s words, that the “departure is directly tied to Trump’s controversial move to pull out of the accord.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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