Published: Thu, June 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Ranking US diplomat in China resigns

The top USA diplomat in China, David Rank, has resigned in protest of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change accord, according to three people familiar with the matter. "You serve each president 150 percent".

But the tensions between the White House and the diplomatic corps are now flaring up more publicly, and at a more senior level.

It would have been Rank's job to accompany Perry to those meetings and help explain the Trump administration's decision to exit from the Paris agreement.

David Rank, a career foreign service officer of 27 years, had been acting ambassador until former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was confirmed as the new ambassador last month. "We signed the agreement because of our commitment to protecting the environment".

China and the US are the world's two largest emitters of man-made carbon dioxide, considered a top cause of climate change, and agreement between them on capping emissions helped pave the way for the Paris agreement among more than 190 nations.

But his decision to do so last week was met with much criticism worldwide. Friends said he was on his way back to the United States.

Former Amb. Dan Feldman, who most recently served as the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the U.S. Department of State, and was Ranks' supervisor for nearly five years described him as a "quintessentially professional foreign service officer", calling him "thoughtful, calm, judicious, non-political" and the kind of person "you want representing the U.S. government overseas". He declined to say whether it involved climate policy.

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Rank joined the State Department in 1990 and served in a variety of roles including in Afghanistan, Greece, and Mauritius.

In Lukens' case, the flap was less about principle than a case of mixed signals with the White House.

Although Rank meant to resign his position by the end of the year, it is rare for Foreign Service officers to leave because of personal political opinion; they typically represent the United States overseas regardless of administration decisions, The Washington Post said Tuesday.

Earlier Sunday, Trump criticized Khan for his comments following Saturday's attack that killed at least seven people and wounded dozens more.

On Monday, the president continued his attack against Khan, the city's first Muslim mayor, labeling his explanation of his remark about the public not being alarmed as a "pathetic excuse" and accusing the news media of "working hard to sell it".

Chacon could not immediately be reached for comment.

Appointed in January 2016, he was effectively the top United States diplomat in China as he was also the acting ambassador.

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