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China’s ambassador to the U.S. and its Washington embassy joined Twitter, staking out a new presence on President Donald Trump’s favorite social media platform ahead of a new round of trade talks.
While Twitter is blocked on China’s heavily censored internet, numerous state media outlets and diplomats have long maintained accounts to help promote the country’s agenda overseas. An exception has been Ambassador Cui Tiankai, who’s been responsible for representing Chinese interests in Washington for the entirety of Trump’s Twitter-dependent presidency.
“The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States and His Excellency Ambassador Cui Tiankai officially launched their Twitter accounts today,” the embassy said in a statement Monday. “The Chinese Embassy is committed to promoting mutual understanding between China and the U.S. by engaging with the American people on social media.”
The accounts have been verified, Twitter Inc. spokeswoman Isabella Liu said in an email Tuesday.
Cui’s Twitter debut comes as the world’s two biggest economies kick off a new round of trade talks following a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit last month in Osaka, Japan. China’s opaque, tightly controlled process for releasing official information contrasts with Trump, who routinely uses his Twitter account to announce policy moves, including increasing tariffs on Chinese imports.
The move expands a social media outreach campaign launched by China’s foreign ministry at home and abroad in recent months as tensions with the U.S. have escalated. The ministry launched a new account Monday on Bytedance Ltd.’s video app TikTok, after joining China-based platforms WeChat and Weibo.
–With assistance from Selina Wang.
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Dandan Li in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at email@example.com, Karen Leigh
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