Washington [US], June 22 (ANI): China's longest-serving ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, on Tuesday confirmed that he would be leaving Washington, at a time when tensions between the two countries have heightened.
Cui has held the post for over eight years. He is expected to replace by Qin Gang, a former Foreign Ministry spokesman. According to South China Morning Post, Cui is known for his relatively moderate stance compared to the more hawkist breed of Wolf Warrior diplomats.
Cui on Tuesday said China and the US relationship is at a "key crossroad" that will have to choose either dialogue or conflict.
He also called on the Chinese currently living in the United States to shoulder more of the responsibility of promoting world peace and stability.
"China-US relations are at a critical crossroads, with the US engaging in a new round of restructuring in its government policy towards China, and it is facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation," he said.
His tenure was unusually long, and, at 68, he is well past the traditional retirement age.
Cui's departure from Washington was reportedly delayed so the diplomat could navigate the increasingly rocky waters of the relationship in the face of unprecedented pushback against Beijing's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
China and the US are at the loggerheads over a range of issues including trade, state-of-the-art technology, Beijing's alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and security challenges posed to Taiwan and its vicinity.
Tensions between the two have escalated in recent times. (ANI)