Who will be the next U.S. ambassador to China? It’s time for U.S. President Joe Biden to stop playing politics and choose someone of a diplomatic temperament who knows China well.

The United States needs a diplomat in Beijing who knows how to read between the lines of “Chinaspeak,” not a political appointee for whom an ambassadorship is sinecure, or a diversity candidate to score points back home. Yes, consideration should be open to all qualified candidates of all backgrounds. But so far, most of the names tipped for this key envoy position have been unqualified, puzzling or outright inappropriate.

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