Washington (CNN)Acting US ambassador to China David Rank resigned from his post in Beijing over President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, several sources familiar with the decision told CNN.
A career foreign service officer since 1990, 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 late last month.
Rank 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 CNN, stopping short of citing the climate deal developments as the reason. "We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department."
But 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.
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