The Acting U.S. Ambassador to China has resigned amid the fallout over President Trump’s controversial decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.
David Rank has been serving in the position until former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad arrived to take over. Branstad was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China by Congress last month.
People both on and off record spoke to CNN about Rank’s decision to leave his post. He assumed the post of Acting Ambassador after serving as Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission in China for some time.
Unsurprisingly, a State Department spokesperson did not confirm that Rank’s decision to leave was tied to Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accord, instead simply saying that Rank had made a “personal decision.”
According to a source speaking to CNN, Rank told U.S. Embassy staff on Monday that he could not in good conscience do anything that would in any way contribute to the United States’s effort to withdraw from the Paris Accord.
Dan Feldman, who worked with Rank on one of his previous assignments, told CNN that “it’s heart-wrenching that we’re losing career officers of his talent,” adding: “Some are increasingly grappling with whether they must take principled decisions as they balance their sense of duty with their conscience.”