China’s New U.S. Ambassador: Serve the Motherland

China’s freshly appointed ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, has recently issued open letters on the embassy’s official website, exhorting Chinese individuals and students in the United States to align with the Chinese Embassy in serving the interests of the People’s Republic of China.

Arriving on May 24, Ambassador Xie published these letters in English and Chinese. One of the letters, entitled “To Fellow Compatriots in the United States,” directly appealed to Chinese Americans and Chinese expatriates living in the United States. In this letter, Xie invoked feelings of ethnic and nationalistic ties, reminding his readers of their common heritage.

In his message, Xie invited the Chinese diaspora in the U.S. to actively participate in enhancing U.S.-China relations, aligning with the vision of Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) leader. Xie emphasized the diaspora’s unique position as a link connecting the two nations and their potential influence on U.S.-China relations.

In the letter, Xie articulated the importance of their involvement and contribution, saying, “Your support, involvement, and contribution would be most valuable.” He encouraged his audience to visit China frequently, embracing its modernization and seeking personal growth opportunities.

Ambassador Xie concluded his letter by expressing a wish to broaden his network within the Chinese-American community, anticipating the opportunity to meet both familiar faces and establish new connections.

Similarly, he addressed Chinese students in the U.S., encouraging unity and dedication to their homeland while studying abroad. Xie prompted them to share China’s narrative with their American counterparts to contribute positively to U.S.-China relations.

Following the publication of these open letters, several arrests of Chinese Americans serving the Chinese regime’s agenda in the U.S. against U.S. law were made.

Boston-based Chinese community leader and U.S. citizen Litang Liang was detained earlier for allegedly supplying the Chinese regime with a “blacklist” of U.S.-based pro-democracy dissidents from 2018 to 2022.

Two Californian men were recently charged for assisting the CCP in persecuting Falun Gong—a group espousing the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance that have faced unlawful persecution in mainland China since 1999—in the United States.

Over the last decade, numerous Chinese-American academics involved in the CCP’s Thousand Talents program have been scrutinized by U.S. authorities. Some have been imprisoned for violating U.S. laws, such as espionage, and unlawfully offering American research data and technologies to China.

The Thousand Talents is a global recruitment initiative by the CCP to draw talent to China. It primarily targets scholars originally from China who are studying or working in Western institutions and have access to cutting-edge Western technologies.

Stories about Chinese students in the U.S. rallying under the direction of the Chinese embassy and consulates to protest against dissenting groups have also surfaced.

While Xie is seen as a relatively reserved figure in the diplomatic sphere compared to his predecessor Qin Gang and other “wolf warrior” diplomats of the CCP, he stated clearly upon his arrival in the U.S., “I have come here to safeguard the interests of China.”

Xie has rich diplomatic experience, particularly with the U.S., and he’s known for his discreet contributions to forging agreements with U.S. politicians. He arranged a high-profile summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden in November 2022. He facilitated a prisoner exchange agreement in 2021.

Xie seems to focus predominantly on strategic and business connections in the U.S. to advance the CCP’s U.S.-China policy.

In January, he delivered a keynote speech at the China Think Tank International Influence Forum in Beijing, emphasizing the role of the Chinese and American strategic and business communities in fostering U.S.-China dialogue and cooperation, as reported by The Paper, a China-based media outlet.

Despite his influential role, Professor Kou Jianwen, director of the International Relations Research Center of National Chengchi University in Taiwan, expressed to The Epoch Times on May 24 that major shifts in U.S.-China relations are unlikely following Xie’s appointment. He asserted, “This is a structural confrontation [between democracy and communism], so it is difficult to make substantial adjustments in the relationship between the two countries.”

Xie’s goal of strengthening the relationship between China and the United States, particularly through enhancing connections with the Chinese diaspora and students in the United States, is evident from his open letters. However, the legality and ethical implications of such actions remain contentious, as exemplified by recent arrests.

In his diplomatic dealings, Xie’s strategy seems to focus on strategic and business circles to promote the Chinese Communist Party’s policies concerning the United States. However, his efforts may not drastically alter the underlying dynamics of U.S.-China relations due to the deep-seated ideological differences between the two nations.

Ambassador Xie’s initial days in office will be closely observed to assess how his strategies might impact U.S.-China relations, the Chinese diaspora, and international diplomacy. Regardless of the reception, Xie is committed to serving China’s interests in the United States.