For the past few months, [the] Obama administration has been re-evaluating its diplomatic corps. The most significant shake-up was the decision to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, which was announced in late November. But another, more subtle move – and one that is far less noticed – is the appointment of a new US Ambassador to China.
The Chinese have been a sensitive topic in US-China relations for some time, but the upcoming visit by Vice President Joe Biden has raised the stakes. Biden is expected to hold meetings with China’s President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, and then on Thursday will be meeting with top leaders in the CCP. What, if any, will be accomplished at these meetings?
The Trump administration has been tough on China, but some in Washington are worried that tensions are already too high, and perhaps they could get worse. Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN and career diplomat Nicholas Burns has been appointed U.S. Ambassador to China, and it is an important position.. Read more about us ambassador and let us know what you think.
According to a White House announcement issued on August 20, Harvard Professor Nicholas Burns has been selected by President Joe Biden to serve as the United States’ ambassador to China. Burns was a career diplomat, serving as NATO ambassador, State Department spokesperson, and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, according to the White House.
“As Under Secretary, he collaborated with the Chinese government on a wide range of topics, including Afghanistan, UN sanctions against Iran, North Korea, and US strategy in the Indo-Pacific,” according to the statement. Burns was presently on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, according to the article.
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would also be nominated as ambassador to Japan, according to the announcement. The full statement may be seen at www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room. Burns and Emanuel’s nominees must be confirmed by the Senate.
Since October 2020, there has been no US ambassador in Beijing.
According to CNN, most recent American presidents have been more willing to designate ambassadors than Biden. According to the network, Biden’s ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, is the only one of the Biden Administration’s ambassadorial candidates who has been approved by the Senate.
The United States has not had an ambassador in Beijing since Terry Branstad left in October 2020, according to the Global Times, a Chinese state-run publication.
According to the newspaper, ties between the US and China are “sensitive, complicated, and thorny,” according to Lü Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He went on to say that Biden seemed to prefer talking to Beijing directly via high-ranking State Department officials in Washington rather than through diplomatic representation in Beijing.
“The U.S. ambassador’s position in China is very restricted,” Lü told the newspaper, since an ambassador is “an implementer of the country’s policy rather than a decision-maker.” According to Li Haidong of China Foreign Affairs University, making concessions with China would be too tough for Biden, therefore the US leadership is attempting to unify other nations against China.
Burns, unlike previous US ambassadors to China, was a professional diplomat rather than an elected politician, according to Reuters. Branstad served as governor of Iowa before being appointed by Donald Trump to the position of ambassador to China, according to the news agency. According to Reuters, Burns counseled Biden throughout his 2020 presidential campaign.
‘Not a show horse, but a worker’
According to Reuters, Georgetown University professor Evan Medeiros described Burns as “someone who knows great power politics” and “a workhorse, not a show horse.” Burns earned the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award as well as the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, according to the White House announcement.
On Twitter, former President Bill Clinton voiced his support for Burns and Emanuel’s nominees.
Both men are “wise decision-makers, seasoned leaders, and committed public servants,” according to Clinton.
Nick Burns and Rahm Emanuel are astute decision-makers, seasoned leaders, and devoted public servants. @POTUS made an excellent decision in appointing them as Ambassadors to Japan and China. I am certain that Rahm and Nick will excel in their new roles, and I wish them well in their new roles.
20 August 2021 — Bill Clinton (@BillClinton)
Progressive Democrats are railing against Rahm Emanuel.
According to the White House notice of the forthcoming nominees, Emanuel served as Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama for the first two years of his presidency. As mayor of Chicago, Emanuel “oversaw significant economic growth that revived the city and helped cement its position as a worldwide center of culture and business,” according to the White House.
The Chicago Tribune reported that news of Emanuel’s nomination as ambassador to Japan drew criticism from members of the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, who recalled incidents of police violence against African Americans during Emanuel’s eight years as mayor, including the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, a Democrat, tweeted her objection to Biden’s nomination of Emanuel. “She stated,” she said “The murder of Laquan McDonald was covered up by Rahm Emanuel. He should be barred from ever being nominated to a post in any government.”
The murder of Laquan McDonald was hushed up by Rahm Emanuel. He should be barred from ever being nominated to a post in any government. Make a phone call to your Senator and tell them to vote no: https://t.co/8m1L86RWCj (202) 224-3121
20 August 2021 — Cori Bush (@CoriBush)
Burns was the executive director of the Aspen Strategy Group, according to the White House statement. Burns had “established a policy discussion with the Chinese government’s Central Party School” in this role, according to the White House, and spoke fluent French, Arabic, and Greek.
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