Trump ‘s ambassador to China to face new challenges
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has named former U.S. Ambassador to China Chu Zheng-Hai to serve as the next ambassador to Beijing.
Chu, who served as the city’s mayor from 2009 to 2013, was a staunch critic of the Trump administration’s stance on Beijing’s treatment of Taiwan, and a vocal critic of China’s crackdown on civil society in Xinjiang.
Chu’s appointment is one of the first official announcements by Emanuel to announce that he’s stepping down after less than a year in office.
Chu will assume his duties as ambassador in February.
Chu was first elected mayor of Chicago in 2014, winning re-election with more than 64 percent of the vote.
Chu served as a member of the Obama administration and was a senior advisor to then-President Barack Obama during his tenure in the White House.
Chu has a background in international affairs and human rights issues.
He has also served as an economic adviser to the United States Trade Representative, the president of the National Economic Council, and as a senior adviser to then President Donald Trump.
Chu said he will “help to advance the interests of the people of China, and continue to support the President’s vision of a strong, free, and open China.”
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Emanuel named Johnathan K. Greenblatt, a top adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, to be his ambassador to Taiwan.
The two were among the top contenders for the post during the Democratic primary.
The selection of Chu comes after Emanuel announced in March that he would be stepping down at the end of the month after just two years in office, following a series of controversies over his handling of the police department’s deadly protests against police violence against African Americans.
Chu previously served as Emanuel’s chief of staff from 2009-2015.
He was one of Emanuel’s most vocal critics during the administration of former President Barack Obama.
Chu is a native of China who came to the U.s. as a child.
In 2013, Chu joined the U-M’s Institute for Asian American Studies, a university-affiliated research group.
He worked for the Obama White House, and in 2015 he was appointed to the National Labor Relations Board.
Chu also served on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Chu graduated from Yale Law School and the University of Chicago.