US Senate Confirms Career Diplomat Nicholas Burns to Be Next Ambassador to China
© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanA Chinese woman adjusts the Chinese national flag near U.S. national flags before a Strategic Dialogue expanded meeting that's part of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, July 10, 2014
© AP Photo / Ng Han Guan
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Senate confirmed career diplomat Nicholas Burns to serve as President Joe Biden's ambassador in Beijing as the United States seeks to counter a rising China in a global power competition.
Burns was confirmed by a 75-18 vote on Thursday.
In October, Burns said during a confirmation hearing that China represents the greatest security threat to the United States and the democratic world and unlike Washington, Beijing has no real allies.
Burns said that the United States and China should work on improving their communications in order to avert the possibility of a conflict and maintain regional peace. Burns promised to communicate directly with Chinese officials and to facilitate meetings with US counterparts, including Biden as well as lawmakers.
However, Burns called on Congress and the Biden administration to scale up security cooperation and arms provisions to Taiwan to defend itself from China.
Moreover, Burns said China's ongoing nuclear weapons buildup, its development of hypersonic missile technology, and economic dominance should be matters of concern for Russia
Blinken: China's 'Aggressive Actions' a Cause of 'Concern' in Asia, Threaten $3 Trillion in Commerce
14 December 2021, 07:53 GMT
Burns was nominated by Biden to be the next US ambassador to China in August. Following the nomination, China expressed hope the new ambassador will play a constructive role in improving the significantly deteriorated relations between Beijing and Washington.
Burns previously served as US ambassador to Greece from 1997 to 2001 and ambassador to NATO from 2001 to 2005. During Burns' time as the under secretary of state from 2005 to 2008, he worked with the Chinese government on various issues, including Afghanistan, UN sanctions against Iran and North Korea.