Ranking US diplomat in China resigns

US number two diplomat in China resigns over Trump's climate decision

"Mr. Rank made a personal decision".

The move has seen China emerge as the global champion in the fight against global warming, but some believe it may prompt Beijing to be more cautious towards Washington.

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

Experts and foreign service officers have lamented that the U.S. decision to leave the Paris accord will create a leadership vacuum on climate issues that China's leaders are eager to fill.

Baucus's replacement, Branstad, was confirmed by the Senate last month but hasn't arrived in China yet.

In Rank's case, several friends said, he had been directed to present the White House's rationale for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord to the Chinese government.

"He has retired from the foreign service", said Anna Richey-Allen, a spokeswoman for the department's East Asia Bureau. "Mr. We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department", the official told ABC News. He said his conscience prevented him from carrying out his duties after Trump's decision on the climate-change agreement, according to people who were at the meeting.

The State Department confirmed that Rank had left his post but wouldn't say why.

Rank's decision was reported earlier on Twitter by John Pomfret, an editor-at-large with SupChina.

Adding to the awkwardness, over the weekend another career diplomat broke ranks with Trump after he criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan for suggesting there was "no reason to be alarmed" by armed police patrols in the city.

This comes after we heard from the acting ambassador in Great Britain praising the mayor of London at the very time that the President was attacking the mayor of London.

Polley said the embassy informed China's foreign affairs ministry on Monday that Jonathan Fritz would be serving as charge d'affaires.

Dan Feldman, who was the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan when Rank was a senior adviser there, said Rank was the quintessential, nonpolitical diplomat.

Rank did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "In all his years working for me, I never even knew his politics; exactly what you'd hope for from a career Foreign Service officer".

"Dave Rank is the best America has to offer", Scott Mulhauser, the former chief of staff at the US Embassy in Beijing, told NBC News.

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