Biden nominates Nicholas Burns as ambassador to China

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President Biden will nominate Nicholas Burns to serve as ambassador to China, the president announced Friday.

Burns, a former longtime member of the Foreign Service, served as ambassador to NATO under former President George W. Bush and ambassador to Greece under former President Clinton.

He advised Biden on foreign policy during his 2020 campaign and is now a diplomacy and international relations professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 

Burns, 65, is also executive director of the Aspen Strategy Group and senior counselor at The Cohen Group.

He previously was spokesman at the State Department for two years under Clinton and at the end of the Bush administration was undersecretary of state for political affairs. 

“As Under Secretary, he worked with the Chinese government on issues as diverse as Afghanistan, United Nations sanctions against Iran, North Korea, and U.S. policy in the Indo-Pacific,” the White House said in a statement. “At the Aspen Strategy Group, he organized a policy dialogue with the Chinese government’s Central Party School. He has taught, written, and spoken on current U.S.-China relations.”

Burns replaces Terry Branstad, former governor of Iowa, who served as ambassador to China under former President Trump. Before that, former Montana Sen. Max Baucus was ambassador to China under former President Obama.

Tags Barack Obama Bill Clinton Donald Trump Joe Biden Max Baucus
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