Senate confirms Nicholas Burns as ambassador to China

Senate confirms Nicholas Burns as ambassador to China

On Thursday, December 16, the US Senate confirmed the appointment of Nicholas Burns as US ambassador to China, ending more than a year of diplomatic vacancy in Beijing.

Joe Biden had appointed him in August, But as of Thursday, a majority emerged to confirm this seasoned diplomat in office, after Republican Senator Marco Rubio withdrew his opposition to the appointment.

Former Ambassador to Greece and NATO, Number Three in the State Department under George W. Bush, Nicholas Burns, during his October Senate hearing, described China as“aggressor” In the region, the promise of a “live confrontation” with Beijing, adding, however, that he hopes to be able to collaborate on topics such as climate change.

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Former advisor to John Kerry

Mr Burns’ appointment has been blocked since August by Marco Rubio, who accused him of not being strict enough on Chinese diplomacy. The senator finally allowed the vote to take place — while still speaking against confirmation — after the Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a law banning imports of a wide range of products made in Xinjiang, a Chinese region where Washington finds people. Rights violations against the Uyghur minority.

Democrats, as well as some Republicans, argued that after more than a year without an ambassador, the United States needed a senior representative in Beijing to enforce this new law.

Professional diplomat Nicholas Burns, who taught at Harvard University, also served as an advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry between 2014 and 2017. He had been highly critical of Donald Trump’s foreign policy. His predecessor in Beijing, Terry Branstad, resigned in September 2020, in the midst of the presidential campaign in the United States.

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The world with AFP

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