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China names new ambassador to United States

Xie Feng (L), the new Chinese ambassador to the United States, meets with U.S. ambassador to China Nicholas Burns on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Burns Twitter
Xie Feng (L), the new Chinese ambassador to the United States, meets with U.S. ambassador to China Nicholas Burns on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Burns Twitter

May 24 (UPI) -- China's foreign vice minister Xie Feng announced Tuesday he has taken on the role as ambassador to the United States.

Xie steps into the position as relations between the world's top two economic powers are near historic lows but seeking an improved working relationship.

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"I am the representative of China, so I have come here to safeguard China's interests," Xie said. "This is my sacred responsibility. We hope that the United States will move in the same direction with China.

"We hope that the United States will work together with China to increase dialogue, to manage differences and also to expand our cooperation so that our relationship will be back on the right track."

The position has been vacant since January, when Qin Gang became foreign minister of the People's Republic of China.

Nicholas Burns, the U.S. ambassador to China, had worked with Xie in his former role.

"My farewell dinner with Xie Feng, the new PRC Ambassador to the U.S. -- our 23rd meeting in 14 months -- as we manage the ever-challenging U.S.-China relationship," Burns said on Twitter. "I look forward to working with him in his new role."

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U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said he looked forward to working with Xie in maintaining the channel of communication between the two countries.

"We remain committed, as we've said on a number of occasions, to maintaining channels of communication with the PRC to responsibly manage competition," he said.

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