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By Michael Bastasch
The number-two U.S. diplomat to China resigned, sources say, because he disagreed with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change.
A Department of State official confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation that David Rank, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, resigned Monday after a 27-year career at the State Department.
“Mr. Rank made a personal decision. We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department,” the official told TheDCNF.
But sources told SupChina editor-at-large John Pomfret that Rank resigned Monday due to Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement.
— John Pomfret 潘文 (@JEPomfret) June 5, 2017
Trump withdrew from the Paris accord Thursday, despite pleas from China and Europe to remain in the accord that aims to curb future global warming. Trump said the agreement was poorly negotiated and benefited U.S. competitors, like China and India.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was among those in the administration who favored remaining in Paris.
China and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris agreement after Trump’s decision. China, however, did not pledge to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions but said they would “peak” them by 2030.
Critics charged the Paris agreement gave China and India an unfair advantage, much like the preceding Kyoto Protocol. On top of that, Paris is non-binding, so China faces no penalties for failing to cut emissions.
Paris agreement supporters say Trump ceded leadership on global warming to China and other countries who will benefit from green energy jobs and technology. Yet, they offered few concrete examples of how the non-binding Paris agreement would guarantee that.
Rank is the first high-profile State Department official to reign over Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement. The Trump administration has not made the resignation public.
So far, two CEOs have left White House business councils over Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger left because of the decision.
UBER CEO Travis Kalanick left a White House business council in February after Trump released his executive order to increase vetting for refugees coming from seven predominantly Muslim countries.