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A Top U.S. Diplomat Just Resigned Over Trump Climate Decision

David Rank, the Acting US ambassador to China, has resigned from his post in Beijing over President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, CNN reports. Rank is the second US diplomat serving at one of the largest embassies in the world to publicly split with Trump in recent days.

Rank assumed the position of deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Beijing in January 2016 and had been serving until the arrival of Trump’s pick for the job, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who was confirmed by Congress last week.

The veteran diplomat has served in several senior positions within the US State Department including time as the director of the office of Afghanistan affairs and as a senior adviser to the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Mr. Rank made a personal decision,” a senior State Department official told the network, stopping short of citing the climate deal developments as the reason. “We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department.”

According to the report, however, sources familiar with the decision indicated that Rank’s departure is directly tied to Trump’s controversial move to pull out of the accord.

Rank was serving in China when President Xi Jinping and then-US President Barrack Obama jointly declared their commitment to the Paris agreement.

China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, said it would stick by its commitments to the treaty despite the US decision.

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