Acting ambassador to China reportedly leaving post due to Trump's climate policy

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
(Image credit: Teh Eng Koon/AFP/Getty Images)

The chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing is ending his 27-year career at the State Department due to President Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, a senior U.S. official told Reuters Monday.

The official said the acting ambassador, David Rank, could not support the decision and didn't think he was able to give China a diplomatic note letting the Chinese government know of the move. A spokeswoman for the State Department confirmed that Rank is leaving his post, but did not comment on why he is deciding to depart now. A U.S. official told Reuters that Rank announced on Monday he planned to retire, but the State Department told him to leave immediately.

Rank is a career foreign service officer who became deputy chief of mission in Beijing in January 2016. In May, the Senate confirmed Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) as the new ambassador to China, though Branstad has yet to assume the position.

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