UK ambassador to China to head British mission to the UN

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LONDON (AP) — Barbara Woodward, Britain’s ambassador to China, has been announced as the U.K.’s next permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.

Woodward succeeds Karen Pierce, who was appointed earlier this year to her new role as the first female British ambassador to the United States.

Woodward has served as ambassador to China since 2015. She previously served as the Foreign Office’s head of economic and consular affairs and as the international director of the U.K. Border Force.

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft warmly welcomed the appointment of a China expert.

“I do think that there’s a real bonus … the fact that they are on to China,” she said.

“I think it’s really imperative that the U.K. has someone that comes in that understands China, and understands their malicious behavior within the U.N. and outside,” she told a group of reporters Thursday. “The U.N. is watching, we’re watching how they’re trying to infiltrate the U.N. and how they’re trying to infiltrate every corner that they can of the (U.N.) Secretariat.”

Woodward joined the Foreign Office in 1994, and her first posting was to the British embassy in Moscow.

She said she was delighted to take up the job “at a time when the rules-based international system faces pressing global challenges and a significant reform agenda.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Woodward will bring her “formidable intellect and dynamic diplomatic skills” to the role.

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