May 29, 2023
WASHINGTON – China’s top envoy in the United States had his first meeting with US officials on Thursday, two days after his arrival in Washington, in which both sides stressed ramping up dialogue to stabilize the relationship between the world’s two largest economies.
Xie Feng, former Chinese vice-minister of foreign affairs, presented a copy of his Letter of Credence to Ambassador Rufus Gifford, chief of protocol for the US Department of State, and met with US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, according to the Chinese embassy.
“Today, I welcomed the appointed Ambassador from the People’s Republic of China Xie Feng. Open dialogue is critical to managing our relationship with the PRC,” Nuland said in a social media post on Thursday evening.
The official said the US State Department is ready to provide support for Xie to perform his duties, according to a readout released by the Chinese embassy.
Xie said the China-US relationship bears on the well-being of both peoples and the future of the world and hoped the US side will move in the same direction with China, take concrete actions to deliver on the important common understandings between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, and explore the right way to get along with each other in the new era.
“It is important to uphold the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, enhance dialogue, manage differences and promote cooperation, so as to bring the China-US relationship back to the right track,” Xie said, according to the embassy statement.
The two sides also exchanged views on issues of common interest and agreed to maintain close communication.
Before heading to the US, Xie had multiple rounds of talks with US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, in which they agreed to work together for the “most important bilateral relationship”.
“My farewell dinner with Xie Feng, the new PRC ambassador to the US — our 23rd meeting in 14 months — as we manage the ever-challenging US-China relationship. I look forward to working with him in his new role,” Burns wrote in a tweet on Thursday.
To which Xie replied, “Thanks for hosting me. I appreciate our multiple rounds of candid, substantive communication. Let’s contribute our due share to this most important bilateral relationship.”
Upon his arrival in New York on Tuesday, Xie told reporters that the China-US relationship is currently faced with “serious difficulties and challenges”, and that his appointment means not only honor to him, but also enormous responsibilities.
“My colleagues and I will carry out our responsibilities and live up to our mission with diligence and fortitude,” Xie said.
Xie, who worked at the Chinese embassy in Washington between 2000 and 2003 as a minister, said he expects to engage extensively with US citizens from all walks of life during his posting, while observing and learning about the country at a close distance, and exploring ways to deepen exchanges and cooperation.
“Let us work together to contribute to China-US relations with insights and actions as well as courage and grit,” he said.