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China’s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, speaks at the White House. China’s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, speaks at the White House in Washington, Jan. 15, 2020 (AP photo by Steve Helber).

What’s Behind the Rare Discord Between Two Chinese Diplomats?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

Rare public discord between Chinese officials spilled into the open this week when Cui Tiankai, Beijing’s ambassador to the United States, rebuked Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, for peddling conspiracies on Twitter about the origins of COVID-19. Chinese officials normally adhere closely to the Communist Party line in public remarks, so observers are questioning whether the spat is a sign of disagreements in Beijing over the party’s messaging. ...

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