Xie Feng

China’s new ambassador to the United States finally arrived in Washington on Tuesday, filling a position that had been unusually vacant for nearly five months. Some observers believe this marks the beginning of a small thaw in the two countries’ recently chilly relations.

Veteran diplomat Xie Feng, who has spent the majority of his career working with the United States, told reporters upon his arrival in Washington that he had “come here to enhance China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation, and I take this as my important mission”. As a representative of the Chinese people, he continued, “I have come here to protect China’s interests, and I take this as my sacred responsibility.”