Retired Air Force general assumes top US diplomatic seat in Asia
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David Stilwell was confirmed by the Senate Thursday as U.S. assistant secretary of state for Asian and Pacific affairs, the top diplomatic position in the region.
The seat has had no permanent replacement since Daniel Russel left in early 2017 while Barack Obama was still president.
Susan Thornton, a longtime foreign service officer, filled in on an acting basis, and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had reportedly urged President Donald Trump to nominate her for a permanent job.
But the Trump administration did not deem her “sufficiently hawkish on China,” and she retired in July soon after Tillerson left, according to a Washington Post report last year.
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