January 5, 2023
BEIJING – He outlines hopes for key relationship, says he will encourage dialogue, mutual understanding
China’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Qin Gang pledged on Tuesday to “continue to care about and support the growth of China-US relations” as he left his post as Beijing’s top envoy in Washington.
Qin, 56, was named foreign minister on Friday after he served as China’s ambassador to the United States for about 17 months.
“I came to assume office in 2021 at a time of severe challenges for China-US relations,” he said in one of the posts on his official Twitter page, as he bade farewell to the people of the US. “I want to pay sincere thanks to the people of the United States for the strong support and assistance given to me and the Chinese Embassy during this period,” he wrote.
Qin said that during his tenure as ambassador, he worked to implement the common understandings of the presidents of both nations, served as a bridge and bond of communication between the two countries, and explored the right way for China and the US to get along in the new era.
He recalled that he visited 22 states in over 500 days during his stay in the US. “I went to government agencies, Congress, think tanks, enterprises, factories, ports, farms, schools and sports fields, and made many friends across the US. I have been deeply impressed by so many hardworking, friendly and talented American people that I met,” he tweeted.
Speaking on the way forward, he wrote, “What’s past is prologue. Going forward, I will continue to care about and support the growth of China-US relations, encourage dialogue, mutual understanding and affinity between the two peoples.”
Qin also vowed to work for “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation “between the two countries, and to make his “due efforts for the wellbeing of the two peoples and for world peace, stability and development”.
On Monday, Qin had issued two separate letters to bid farewell to overseas Chinese and Chinese students studying in the US. He noted that the total population of overseas Chinese in the US had reached more than 5 million, and they “have become an important part of the pluralistic society in the US”.
The overseas Chinese community in the US has worked determinedly to promote people-to-people friendship despite unprecedented resistance and at a time when China-US relations are at a low, he wrote. The community has helped the two countries strengthen mutual understanding, enhance mutual trust and develop cooperation, he added.
In his letter addressed to Chinese students, Qin voiced his hope that they will make more friends, boost exchanges, act as grassroots envoys of China-US friendship and promote mutual understanding between the two peoples.