Cui Tiankai

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H.E. Ambassador
Cui Tiankai
Cui Tiankai in 2012.jpg
Cui Tiankai at the 23rd Session of the U.S. China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade press conference, 2012
Chinese Ambassador to the United States
Assumed office
April 15, 2013
Preceded byZhang Yesui
Chinese Ambassador to Japan
In office
October 9, 2007 – January 26, 2009
Preceded byWang Yi
Succeeded byCheng Yonghua
Personal details
BornOctober 1952 (age 66)
Shanghai, China
Political partyCommunist Party of China
ResidenceWashington, D.C., U.S.
Alma materEast China Normal University
Beijing Foreign Studies University
Johns Hopkins University

Cui Tiankai (Chinese: 崔天凯; pinyin: Cuī Tiānkǎi; born October 1952) is a Chinese diplomat and currently the Chinese Ambassador to the United States.

Early life and education[edit]

In 1952, Cui was born in Shanghai, China. He is a native of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China.[1]

Cui went to Shanghai Foreign Language School and graduated from the School of Foreign Languages of East China Normal University. Following his graduation from East China Normal University, Cui studied interpretation at the Beijing Foreign Studies University.


Cui Tiankai with Barack Obama in the Oval Office, April 2013

Following his studies in Beijing, Cui traveled with a Chinese delegation to the United Nations to work as an interpreter in the General Assembly. After working in the UN for five years, Cui returned to academia to pursue a postgraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.[2]

After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, Cui joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs first as a deputy director of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences and then spokesmen for the Information Department. In 1997, Cui was appointed Minister Counselor to the United Nations, a position he held until 1999. Cui continued to work with the Ministry throughout the next decade and held notable positions such as Director General of the Department of Asian Affairs, assistant minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ambassador to Japan.[3][4] In 2013, Cui was appointed by President Xi Jinping as the Ambassador to the United States.[5]


On March 6, 2013, Cui Tiankai was interviewed by reporters from China Youth Daily when he attended the National People's Congress. "The root cause of all problems in Sino-Japan relationship is that whether Japan can accept a powerful China." Cui said, "If Japan can realize and solve this problem in her mind, all the other problems can be solved easily."[6]

On October 8, 2013, Cui Tiankai delivered a speech at the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. He said some Japanese believe that: "During World War II, Japan was only defeated by United States and her atom bombs. Therefore, Japan only needs to get along well with United States while ignoring other nations." "This is a downright incorrect viewpoint." Cui emphasizes that, "Japan was defeated by all the peace-loving people including both Chinese and American people. There will be dire consequences if Japan is misled by incorrect viewpoints about past history."[7]

In 2012, the case of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng triggered a diplomatic dispute between China and the US. Chen was permitted to study law in mainland China before going to the US for further studies. When Cui saw the shortlist of the universities that the Americans recommended, he roared: "There's no way he's going to East China Normal, I will not share an alma mater with that man!"[8]

On July 12, 2016, Cui Tiankai spoke at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies following China's rejection of the ruling of an international tribunal arbitration case submit by the Philippines. He asserted that the attempt at arbitration was illegal as it was done without Chinese consent. Cui expressed his hope for future diplomatic resolutions to disputes in the South China Sea, also expressed a wish for further more successful joint developments and activities with other countries.[9]


  1. ^ "". Retrieved Dec 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "Biography of the Ambassador — Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America". Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  3. ^ "旅日侨胞热烈欢迎崔天凯大使履新" [A warm welcome to overseas Chinese in Japan, Ambassador Cui Tiankai took office]. (in Japanese). 2007-10-09. Archived from the original on 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  4. ^ "中国驻日本大使崔天凯举行离任招待会" [Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai held Farewell Reception]. (in Japanese). 2009-01-26. Archived from the original on 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  5. ^ "Xi appoints Cui Tiankai as new ambassador to US". Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  6. ^ People's Daily (2013-03-06). "Discussions with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs" (in Chinese). Beijing. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  7. ^ China News (2013-10-09). "Cui Tiankai: Hope Some Japanese Drop Incorrect Viewpoints on History" (in Chinese). Beijing. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  8. ^ Week in China (2014-06-20). "Hillary's China syndrome". Hong Kong. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
  9. ^ Centre for Strategic and International Studies (2016-07-12). "China's Response to the South China Sea Arbitration Ruling". Washington D.C. Retrieved 2016-07-09.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Wang Yi
Chinese Ambassador to Japan
Succeeded by
Cheng Yonghua
Preceded by
Zhang Yesui
Chinese Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by