President Biden’s Beijing envoy nominee calls China genocidal, abusive, bullying

Nicholas Burns, nominee to be US ambassador to China. (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

(, Oct21’21) – Nicholas Burns, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be US ambassador to China, has taken a tough line on dealing with Beijing at his Senate confirmation hearing on Oct 20. He has said China’s genocide in Xinjiang, abuses in Tibet, and bullying of Taiwan must stop.

“The PRC’s genocide in Xinjiang, its abuses in Tibet, its smothering of Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, and its bullying of Taiwan are unjust and must stop,” Reuters Oct 21 quoted Burns as saying, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

Burns, 65, a career diplomat and former ambassador to NATO, has also said the US was correct in adhering to its current “One China” policy on Taiwan, but right to oppose actions from Beijing that undermine the status quo.

Some lawmakers, including some of Biden’s fellow Democrats, have called for Washington to revisit the decades-old policy, which takes no position on Taiwan’s sovereignty, the report noted.

However, Burns was clear that while China’s military threat to Taiwan was growing, maintaining the One China policy was the smartest and most effective way to deter Beijing from exercising force over the self-ruled democratic island.

“This is a policy that can succeed if we execute it consistently and with some strength,” Burns has told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adding that the most important deterrent was for the United States to maintain its military standing in the Indo-Pacific.

He has called China aggressive and untrustworthy, and stressed that bolstering Taiwan’s defenses against a Chinese invasion should be a top priority for the US.

Burns has also said China has been the aggressor against India along the Himalayan border.

“Beijing has been an aggressor against India along their Himalayan border, against Vietnam, the Philippines, and others in the South China Sea; against Japan in the East China Sea; and has launched an intimidation campaign against Australia and Lithuania,” Burns has said.

He had added that the US will challenge China where it must, including when Beijing takes actions that run counter to America’s values and interests; threaten the security of the United States or its allies and partners; or undermine the rules-based international order.


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