Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum

626-376-7460

[email protected]

March 6, 2022

The following news report confirmed that Ambassador Burns has arrived in Beijing on March 4, 2022. We have not noticed much official coverage of his arrival in Chinese news media. The last piece, interestingly, was from Taipei. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) is based in Hong Kong, it does not represent Chinese government position.

Ambassador Burns’ arrival is an important step forward for managing US-China relation at this crucial time while Ukraine war is still ravaging. US did not have an official envoy in China for more than year and half, while Biden has assumed the US Presidency for more than a year. The Biden Administration has framed the US-China relation is complex and at a historical inflection point, but even though Burns has arrived in Beijing, Biden has not announced his China strategy. Ambassador Burns, with his hawkish attitude toward China expressed during his Senatorial confirmation hearings, will have to do his best in engaging Chinese officials.

Fortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic threat is decreasing so after Ambassador Burns quarantine of three weeks based on China protocol, he should be able to arrange face-to-face meetings with Chinese counterparts after March. A key date to watch is when Ambassador Burns will present his official credential to President Xi. It appears that Chinese Ambassador to DC, Qing Gang, has not presented his official credential to President Bien yet. Ambassador Qing Gang has arrived in DC last July and met with Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman already. With Ambassador in each other’s capital, US-China relation should be more tractable. As of now, the relation will be improved.

Associated Press

New US ambassador arrives in Beijing amid tense relations

Fri, March 4, 2022, 11:41 PM

BEIJING (AP) — New U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns has arrived to take up his post in Beijing amid heightened tensions between China and the United States over Taiwan, trade, human rights and the war in Ukraine.

Burns arrived Friday with his wife Libby and a group of other U.S. diplomats and their families and will undergo three weeks of quarantine at his official residence as China requires, according to a U.S. Embassy spokesperson.

During his quarantine, the ambassador will virtually meet with U.S. Mission staff, the spokesperson said.

The post had been empty since Terry Branstad departed in October 2020.

Burns is a career diplomat, former State Department spokesperson, ambassador to NATO and leading academic, teaching most recently at the Harvard Kennedy School and serving as a foreign policy adviser to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

He has framed the U.S. relationship with China as manageable, saying Americans should “have confidence in our strength” when dealing with the rise of China.

The U.S. and China are considered leading geopolitical rivals, particularly for influence in the Indo-Pacific region where China’s growing military and economic clout is challenging U.S. dominance.

While the Biden administration professes a desire for a more stable and predictable relationship, it has maintained higher tariffs on Chinese imports imposed by former President Donald Trump and continued a trend of closer relations with Taiwan, the self-governing island China claims as a breakaway province.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in a phone conversation Saturday with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, expressed “grave concern over recent words and deeds of the U.S. side,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said. Wang called on the U.S. to stop encouraging Taiwan independence and interfering in China’s internal affairs.

Most recently, China was irked by a U.S.-led diplomatic boycott of last month’s Beijing Winter Olympics in protest over human rights violations, particularly the mass incarceration and mistreatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

China has also refused to condemn Russia over its brutal invasion of Ukraine, blaming the U.S. for instigating the conflict by encouraging NATO expansion and refusing to consider Moscow’s security concerns.

In their phone call, Blinken told Wang that the world is responding in unison to the invasion and watching to see which nations stand up for the principles of freedom and sovereignty, a U.S. State Department statement said.

Burns’ own appointment became caught up in U.S.-China differences when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida announced in November that he had put the nomination on hold in an effort to press Biden to sign into law bipartisan legislation he co-authored banning products made with Uyghur forced labor in western China.

New U.S. ambassador Nicholas Burns arrives in China

BEIJING, March 5 (Reuters) – The new U.S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, has arrived in the country and will be in quarantine for three weeks, the U.S. embassy said in a tweet on Saturday.

The United States has been without an ambassador in Beijing since Terry Branstad stepped down in October 2020.

Burns, a veteran diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, arrives at a time when relations between the world’s two biggest economies are at their worst in decades.

Recent points of friction include the U.S.-led diplomatic boycott of last month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, and China’s diplomatic backing of Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

The embassy tweet said Burns’ travel plans had been delayed due to the pandemic and that a group of U.S. mission personnel and their families travelled with him.

President Joe Biden’s nomination of Burns for the post was approved by the U.S. Senate on Dec 16.

China’s new US ambassador arrives to fill post left vacant since October 2020

  • Nicholas Burns, who has talked tough on China, arrives at a time of tense bilateral relations
  • Burns has described Beijing as the aggressor in its ties with Taiwan, and said its stance on Hong Kong showed it cannot be trusted

Reuters and Bloomberg SCMP

Published: 3:36pm, 5 Mar, 2022

The new US ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, has arrived in the country and will be in quarantine for three weeks, the US embassy said in a tweet on Saturday.

The United States has been without an ambassador in Beijing since Terry Branstad stepped down in October 2020.

Burns, a veteran diplomat and former US ambassador to Nato arrives at a time when relations between the world’s two biggest economies are at their worst in decades.

Recent points of friction include the US-led diplomatic boycott of last month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, and China’s diplomatic backing of Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

President Joe Biden’s nomination of Burns for the post was approved by the US Senate on December 16.

The embassy tweet said Burns’ travel plans had been delayed due to the pandemic and that a group of US mission personnel and their families travelled with him.

The US did not send new diplomats to its China missions last year amid strict Chinese Covid-19 controls, although it never announced a policy to that effect. State Department spokesman Ned Price said at the time that the US had concerns about China’s “quarantine and testing policies that run counter to diplomatic privileges.”

Burns, who has served under Democratic and Republican presidents, is viewed as a calm, savvy professional in Washington’s partisan politics. Apart from Nato, he previously also served as US ambassador to Greece.

Burns has described China as being the aggressor in its relationship with Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines.

美國駐華大使伯恩斯 抵達北京

04:102022/03/07 

旺報 藍孝威 、北京

美國駐華大使館5日於官方微博發布消息稱,美國駐華大使尼古拉斯.伯恩斯已抵北京,他與美國使團人員和家人將隔離3周。此前,這一職位已空缺近1年半之久。(中新社)

據美國駐華大使館5日在官方微博發布消息,美國駐華大使尼古拉斯·伯恩斯已經抵達中國。此前,這一職位已懸缺近1年半。新民網評論欄目《海上客》分析,伯恩斯已抵達中國有三大意味:一是他得遵守中國防疫規定必須隔離;二是中美之間的外交管道開始修復;三是中美關係舉世矚目,該穩步向前了。

《上海公報》50周年 時機巧

新民網評論指出,回顧伯恩斯抵華之前,各種謠言滿天飛,有人說美國「事實上將對華關係降低到代辦級」,暗指北京與華盛頓的關係瀕臨破裂。如今,隨著伯恩斯抵達中國,更多謠言隨風而逝。

該評論還表示,伯恩斯抵華意味中美關係該穩步向前。在尼克森訪華暨《上海公報》簽署50周年紀念活動在中美兩國舉辦之際,伯恩斯來到中國。這個時間節點,不知是巧合還是美方刻意為之。

美國上任駐華大使布蘭斯塔德在2020年10月辭職,伯恩斯直至2021年8月才獲白宮正式提名,再到抵達北京,中間空缺長達近1年半,這在中美關係歷史上尚屬首次。

曾任政務副國務卿 偏鷹派

現年66歲的伯恩斯,會說流利的法語,並熟悉阿拉伯語和希臘語。伯恩斯並非以「中國通」聞名,但他再次獲得美國國務院的重要任命,與他資深的外交官履歷息息相關。

雷根政府時期,伯恩斯進入美國駐非洲國家茅利塔尼亞的大使館實習,從那裡正式開啟了自己的外交生涯。之後,伯恩斯先後在美國駐埃及和以色列的外交機構任職。

在老布希政府時期,伯恩斯進入美國國家安全委員會,任蘇聯事務主任。民主黨人柯林頓上台後,伯恩斯繼續得到信任,先是任俄羅斯、烏克蘭和歐亞事務高級主管,之後又擔任美國國務院發言人。小布希時期,伯恩斯曾擔任美國國務院政務副國務卿,成為國務院的第三號人物。在2020年美國總統競選期間,伯恩斯曾是拜登團隊的外交政策顧問。

伯恩斯去年10月出席參議院外交關係委員會提名聽證會時,曾指中國是美國21世紀最大地緣政治考驗,認為中國具侵略性且不可信,立場偏向鷹派。他還批評中國扼殺香港的自由、在新疆實行種族滅絕、在西藏侵犯人權及霸凌台灣,認為協助台灣加強防禦能力是美國的優先事項。伯恩斯在中美關係問題上的見解,與拜登政府相近。

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