Chinese Ambassador Stops Strong Rhetoric Suddenly

( With the US poised to step up actions against the Communist Chinese Party over a number of aggressions including its theft of foreign technology, human rights abuses and the ongoing stonewalling on the origins of COVID-19, China’s new US ambassador appears to be taking a more placating tone.

Veteran Chinese diplomat Qin Gang, who arrived in Washington late last week, has called for continued engagement between the US and China. In remarks posted on the Chinese Embassy website, Qin said he would “bring China–U.S. relations back on track.” Qin said he wants to turn the possibility of the US and China getting along with each other into a reality.

Such a conciliatory tone is in stark contrast with those of his CCP colleagues who earlier in the week had met with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in the Chinese city of Tianjin. During those meetings, Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng told Sherman that the US must “change its highly misguided mindset.” Xie accused the Biden administration of treating Beijing as an “imaginary enemy.”

The meeting in Tianjin had much of the same lecturing criticism that peppered the first diplomatic meeting between the US and China in Alaska in mid-March. At the Anchorage meeting, CCP officials lashed out at the US delegation which included Secretary of State Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

While serving as spokesman for China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Qin Gang had a reputation for deploying similar sharp rhetoric in response to criticism from the West. He routinely attacked Western nations for being “evil wolves” who “blatantly” smear the CCP while defending Beijing’s record on human rights. This combative style was praised within China and promoted by state-run media outlets.

So why the change? Why is Qin seeking a more conciliatory tone as Ambassador while the rest of the CCP keeps up the inflammatory rhetoric?

While it is anybody’s guess, it could be as simple as China knowing how easily the Biden administration is taken in by even the most phony expressions of diplomacy and cooperation.