US Chinese Ambassador nominee Burns takes hard line in dealing with Beijing – Community News
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US Chinese Ambassador nominee Burns takes hard line in dealing with Beijing

WASHINGTON: Nicholas Burns, President Joe Biden’s candidate to become US ambassador to China, took a hard line in dealing with China during his Senate hearing on Wednesday, saying “genocide in Xinjiang,” abuses Tibet and the harassment of Taiwan must stop.
Burns said China is falling short on its promise to maintain only a minimum of nuclear deterrent, adding that Washington should work with allies in Europe and elsewhere to curb trade and support US businesses.
Human rights advocates and the US government have called China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region “genocide,” a characterization that China rejects.
Burns, 65, a career diplomat and former ambassador to NATO, also said Washington is right in sticking to its current “One China” policy on Taiwan, but also right in opposing Beijing’s actions. that undermine the status quo.
Some lawmakers, including some of Biden’s fellow Democrats, have called on Washington to review its decades-old policy of taking no stance on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Burns said China’s military threat to Taiwan was increasing, but enforcing the One China policy was the smartest and most effective way to stop China from using violence on the self-ruled island.
“This is a policy that can succeed if we implement it consistently and with some force,” Burns told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adding that the main deterrent to the United States was to maintain its military position in the Indo-Pacific. .
Burns is expected to receive easy confirmation and praise from members of both parties. “It is, I think, appropriate that Ambassador Burns has been appointed to this position,” said Senator Jim Risch, the committee’s top Republican.
Burns also elaborated on his view that China is relatively isolated internationally.
“The Chinese are so aggressive that they have generated a lot of opposition to them. And I think we should not exaggerate their strengths or underestimate the strengths of the United States,” Burns said.
Burns also said Beijing is battling the world over the origins of the coronavirus.
“We need to investigate. We’re not sure how this virus came about, there are multiple theories and the Chinese need to answer the questions,” Burns said.
Burns said that, unlike during the Cold War, US competition with China would revolve around economic and technological power, not military power.
He said the United States was right to hold Beijing to its “phase one” trade deal obligations, and urged Congress to pass languishing China-related legislation designed to boost US domestic competitiveness in critical sectors. such as semiconductors.
“It’s arguably the most important thing we can do — invest in our technology future, like the Senate is doing with your strategic innovation bill, which the government backed very strongly. And so do I,” Burns said.
He was asked about the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, without directly responding to some calls for a boycott of the games over human rights issues.
Burns said that due to the Covid restrictions in China, the Olympics would likely be the “most unusual games ever” as few spectators were expected from foreigners.
“Of course we want to make sure that the American athletes … can express their opinion, have access to the media, can say what they want to say, because they come from democratic countries. And I hope and trust the International Olympic Committee that possible,” Burns said.


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