The new U.S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, arrived in Beijing on March 4 with a group of U.S. Mission personnel and their families. Per Beijing’s requirements, Burns will spend three weeks in his residence for quarantine.
The United States has been without an ambassador in Beijing since Terry Branstad departed in October 2020.
According to ABC News, Burns has portrayed the U.S.-China relationship as manageable, saying that Americans should “have confidence in our strength.”
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. The U.S. Senate approved President Joe Biden’s nomination of Burns for the post on Dec. 16.
The diplomatic boycott of last month’s Beijing Winter Olympics by the United States and China’s diplomatic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been recent sources of friction.
On Saturday, March 5, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi about Moscow’s war against Ukraine.
Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement, “The Secretary noted the world is watching to see which nations stand up for the basic principles of freedom, self-determination and sovereignty.”