Republican Sen. Ted Cruz does not intend to delay the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s choice for ambassador to China, a source familiar with his decision told Axios.
The Texas senator’s decision is indicative of a bipartisan consensus that the threat to the United States from an increasingly aggressive Beijing is too vital to ignore and that Nicholas Burns, a former career diplomat, is one of the president’s most qualified nominees.
Cruz has stalled many other State Department nominees after Biden waived sanctions on the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
There has not been a Senate-confirmed ambassador to China in more than a year at a time when concerns that Beijing’s assertiveness could lead to outright conflict with the United States.
Democrats have accused Cruz of harming U.S. national security interests with his tactics.
Biden is way behind his predecessors in confirming ambassador positions. Another Republican, Sen. Josh Hawley, told Axios that he has not made a decision regarding Burns’ confirmation.
Following Biden’s bungled handling of the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, the Missouri senator vowed to block the president’s national security nominees.
In his testimony last week at his Senate confirmation hearing, Burns said in connection to Beijing’s recent aggression towards Taiwan, that “the United States is right to continue to adhere to its one-China policy. But we’re also right to support the peaceful resolution of disputes in this region, and to oppose unilateral actions that undermine the status quo and undermine the stability of the region,” CNN reported.
Burns added that “Given what China’s done, given China’s frankly objectionable statements towards Taiwan, I think the Congress and the executive branch have every right to continue to deepen our security cooperation, to expand our arms provisions to Taiwan, that’s the most important thing we can do.”