Daniel Kritenbrink, 40, has been a diplomat since 1994 and currently works as senior advisor for North Korea policy at State Department and once worked as deputy chief of mission in Beijing.
President Donald Trump has nominated Daniel Kritenbrink, a career diplomat with extensive experience in Asian affairs, to be U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, the White House said Wednesday. Kritenbrink grew up outside Ashland and developed his interest in world affairs while studying political science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
He was senior director for Asian affairs for President Barack Obama’s National Security Council. Kritenbrink once worked as deputy chief of mission in Beijing and speaks Chinese and Japanese, the statement said.
Kritenbrink will need the confirmation by the U.S. Senate before taking position in Vietnam.
The current U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, was nominated by President Barack Obama in May 2014. Osius is expected to conclude his term by the end of this year.
At a forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington in 2016, as top Asia policy adviser under Barack Obama administration, Daniel Kritenbrink, said the United States had no interest in stirring tensions in the South China Sea as a pretext for involvement in the region.
"We have an enduring interest in seeing territorial and maritime disputes in the Asia Pacific, including in the South China Sea, resolved peacefully, without coercion and in a manner that is consistent with international law," Kritenbrink said at the forum.
Answering Hanoitimes, Major General Le Van Cuong – former Head of Strategic Institute (Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam) said, with deep knowledge of Vietnam’s East Sea issue, Daniel Kritenbrink becoming American Ambassador would foster the bilateral tie of Hanoi and Washington.
Daniel particularly expressed obviously the attitude consistent with former US President Barack Obama government about Vietnam’s East Sea issue, which is to deal with sea dispute with peaceful measure, comply to international law, back bilateral dialogue, ensure air and navigation security and safety.
“Once working deputy chief of mission to China, Daniel Kritenbrink also understand Asia history, culture, especially in sea dispute issue. His deep knowledge of the Asia and diplomatic experience in the region will be a key to Kritenbrink's effectiveness in Hanoi.”, Le Van Cuong told Hanoitimes.