Sen. Rubio Blocks Biden’s Ambassador Pick for China

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday placed a hold on President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, saying he does not fully understand the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “Nicholas Burns has a long career in public service, but it is a career defined by the failure to understand the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio said of the procedural move in a statement. Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that Burns has “displayed no remorse or concern” about his current business relationships with “nationless corporations” operating in China. “Burns is exactly the type of nominee I expect from President Biden given this administration’s weak approach toward China, including lobbying against my bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.” Longtime diplomat Burns, 65, formerly served as U.S. ambassador to NATO and Greece. Rubio added, “The last thing we need is another caretaker of American decline in the room with the Chinese Communist Party.” It comes weeks after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has placed a hold on more than two dozen of the president’s picks, reportedly signaled that said he does not intend to block Burns’ confirmation, according to Bloomberg. Burns at his Senate confirmation hearing last month called China the “most dangerous competitor” to the United States and said the Chinese regime’s “genocide in Xinjiang,” abuses in Tibet, its “smothering” of Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, and “bullying of Taiwan” must stop. He also said China’s military threat to Taiwan was growing, but that maintaining the One China policy was the smartest and most effective way to deter China 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 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. Still, he said Congress and the executive branch had every right to “expand our arms provisions to Taiwan.” The Epoch Times has contacted Burns and the Biden administration for comment. Rubio’s hold on Burns also comes one day after Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping engaged in talks in their first virtual summit as heads of state. Both leaders did not reach any “breakthrough” on issues concerning both nations in the three-hour talks. Reuters contributed to this report. Follow Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.

Sen. Rubio Blocks Biden’s Ambassador Pick for China

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday placed a hold on President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, saying he does not fully understand the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“Nicholas Burns has a long career in public service, but it is a career defined by the failure to understand the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio said of the procedural move in a statement.

Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that Burns has “displayed no remorse or concern” about his current business relationships with “nationless corporations” operating in China.

“Burns is exactly the type of nominee I expect from President Biden given this administration’s weak approach toward China, including lobbying against my bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.”

Longtime diplomat Burns, 65, formerly served as U.S. ambassador to NATO and Greece.

Rubio added, “The last thing we need is another caretaker of American decline in the room with the Chinese Communist Party.”

It comes weeks after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has placed a hold on more than two dozen of the president’s picks, reportedly signaled that said he does not intend to block Burns’ confirmation, according to Bloomberg.

Burns at his Senate confirmation hearing last month called China the “most dangerous competitor” to the United States and said the Chinese regime’s “genocide in Xinjiang,” abuses in Tibet, its “smothering” of Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, and “bullying of Taiwan” must stop.

He also said China’s military threat to Taiwan was growing, but that maintaining the One China policy was the smartest and most effective way to deter China 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 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.

Still, he said Congress and the executive branch had every right to “expand our arms provisions to Taiwan.”

The Epoch Times has contacted Burns and the Biden administration for comment.

Rubio’s hold on Burns also comes one day after Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping engaged in talks in their first virtual summit as heads of state. Both leaders did not reach any “breakthrough” on issues concerning both nations in the three-hour talks.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.