Ambassador pick emphasizes US strengths in countering China

WASHINGTON, -- On Wednesday, President Joe Biden's nominee for ambassador to Beijing said that Americans should "have faith in our strength" as they deal with China's rise. He stated that the U.S. and its allies can manage it.

Ambassador pick emphasizes US strengths in countering China

WASHINGTON, -- On Wednesday, President Joe Biden's nominee for ambassador to Beijing said that Americans should "have faith in our strength" as they deal with China's rise. He stated that the U.S. and its allies can manage it.

Nicholas Burns is a former diplomat and State Department official with many years of experience in Washington. He testified before Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a time when the Biden administration tries to shift U.S. attention overseas to manage competition with China. The U.S. considers the post of China ambassador to be one of its most important foreign policy posts.

China's increasing assertiveness in military, diplomatic, and economic matters throughout the region and beyond has sparked fears of a new Cold War. There is hawkish talk about an arms race, with warnings that China could overtake the U.S. military technology, high tech, and trade, while challenging the U.S.'s global influence.

Burns' Wednesday testimony was calmer and framed the U.S. relationship to China as manageable.

Burns stated that China is not an Olympian power. Although China is a country with "extraordinary strength", it also faces significant weaknesses and problems politically, economically, and demographically.

We should be confident in America's strength and American strengths. This includes confidence in the innovation community, our universities, our ability to attract top students from all over the globe, and our military. Confidence in our superior Foreign Service and Civil Service, as well as our values which are in stark opposition to China's autoritarian regime.

He stated, "We will succeed when we build this American strength around diplomacy."

Building alliances in the Indo-Pacific was a key component to countering China, he said. He also praised the defence alliance Biden announced last week with Australia and Britain as potentially "transformational". The defense pact was most famous for sparking French fury when Australia renounced a deal for French submarines in favour of subs powered by the United States.

Burns also gave what would have been a rare bit credit to the Biden administration's predecessor by praising President Donald Trump, his last secretary-of-state, Mike Pompeo for reviving a bloc with Australia and India, and Japan.

He supported the Biden administration's position on China cooperating where possible, but condemned many of its actions. He called China's treatment Uyghur Muslims "genocide", and its trade practices unacceptable. In the face of China’s military and political actions, he endorsed U.S. support to Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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