Biden UN nominee vowing to push back against China

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President Biden’s nominee to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is vowing in testimony to be delivered on Wednesday to push back against China as the new administration recommits to engaging with the U.N.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is expected to challenge China’s agenda while emphasizing the Biden administration’s dedication to rejoining international efforts and advocating American values, according to excerpts of her opening statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee obtained by multiple news outlets

“We know China is working across the U.N. system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the founding values of the institution — American values,” the 35-year State Department veteran plans to say during her confirmation hearing, according to the news outlets.

“Their success depends on our continued withdrawal,” Thomas-Greenfield’s statement continues. “That will not happen on my watch.”

Her prepared remarks highlight the Biden administration’s plans to depart from former President Trump’s “America first” isolationist policy, in which the U.S. distanced itself from international collaboration.

But she argues in her testimony that an absence in international conversations leaves an opening on which other countries can capitalize, jeopardizing U.S. values like the “support for democracy, respect for universal human rights, and the promotion of peace and security.”

“When America shows up — when we are consistent and persistent — when we exert our influence in accordance with our values — the United Nations can be an indispensable institution for advancing peace, security, and our collective well-being,” Thomas-Greenfield plans to say.

“If instead we walk away from the table and allow others to fill the void, the global community suffers — and so do American interests,” her testimony reads.

Thomas-Greenfield notes in her statement that she has learned during her work on four continents that “effective diplomacy means more than shaking hands and staging photo ops,” according to the news outlets.

“It means developing real, robust relationships,” her testimony said. “It means finding common ground and managing points of differentiation. It means doing genuine, old-fashioned, people-to-people diplomacy.”

Her promise to challenge China comes as tensions between Beijing and Washington reached a high point under the Trump administration. Biden’s predecessor often railed against China over the spread of the coronavirus, as well as for the country’s economic and technological practices. 

Conservatives have expressed worry that a Biden administration will not take as strong of a stance against China.

Tags biden administration Biden transition China Donald Trump Foreign policy Linda Thomas-Greenfield Senate Foreign Relations Committee U.S.-China relations UN UN ambassador United Nations
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