China's new U.S. ambassador has hope for relations

China’s new ambassador to the U.S., Qin Gang, on Wednesday expressed optimism about his country's relations with Washington.

He hoped for America’s swift recovery from COVID-19 and said the two countries have great potential for working together.

"I firmly believe that the door of China-US relations, which is already open, cannot and should not be closed. This is the trend of the world, the call of the times and the will of the people."

Qin is replacing Cui Tiankai, China’s longest serving ambassador to the U.S.

He stepped down last month after eight years.

Qin did two stints as a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman between 2006 and 2014.

He earned a reputation for pointed public defenses of his country’s positions.

Qin’s remarks come days after talks between Chinese and American diplomats ended in tension.

Washington and Beijing signaled concessions had to be made on both sides in order to move forward with any talks.

U.S.-China relations had faltered drastically under former President Donald Trump.

The post of the U.S. ambassador to China hasn’t been filled since last year, when Republican Terry Branstad stepped down to help with Trump’s reelection campaign.

Biden has yet to nominate a replacement, though foreign policy circles consider Nicholas Burns, former ambassador to NATO, a favorite.

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