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US-China tensions

New Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang arrives in US with optimism

Relationship at 'new critical juncture' but also faces 'great opportunities and potential'

Qin Gang, a vice foreign minister, is replacing China's longest-serving ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai.(File photo by Kyodo) 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- China's new ambassador to Washington, Qin Gang, on Wednesday wished the United States victory against COVID-19 and said great potential awaited bilateral relations, striking an optimistic tone as he arrived at his new post amid deeply strained ties.

Qin's arrival comes days after high-level talks in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and senior Chinese diplomats ended with both sides signaling that the other must make concessions for ties to improve.

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