The US Senate confirmed yesterday, Thursday, the appointment of Nicholas Burns as ambassador of United States in China, after more than a year that the position remained vacant, despite the fact that China is at the center of Washington ‘s concerns.
Joe Biden had appointed him to the post in August, but yesterday it finally became possible to have a majority in the upper house of Congress to ratify the appointment of this experienced diplomat, after Republican senator Marco Rubio withdrew his opposition. this important appointment.
Former ambassador to Greece and NATO, third in the State Department hierarchy under George W. Bush. Bush’s Nicholas Burns, during a Senate hearing in October, described China as an “attacker” in the region and promised a “lively confrontation” with Beijing, but said he hoped the two sides would be able to work together on issues such as climate change.
His appointment had been blocked since August by Marco Rubio, who accused him of not being tough enough with Chinese diplomacy.
The senator finally let the vote go – but voted against ratifying the appointment – after the Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to ban a wide range of U.S.-made products in Xinjiang, China. complains that human rights violations are taking place.
Democrats, as well as some Republicans, have argued that after more than a year without an ambassador, the United States needed a high-ranking official in Beijing to implement the new law.
A career diplomat, Nicholas Burns was also an adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry from 2014 to 2017, taught at Harvard and publicly criticizing Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
His predecessor at the United States Embassy in Beijing, Terry Branstad, resigned in September 2020, amid the US presidential campaign.