WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is expected to announce he is nominating former senior State Department official Nicholas Burns to serve as his ambassador to China and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be his ambassador to India, according to a person familiar with the matter.
With the selections, Biden is turning to a seasoned diplomat and a longtime political ally to serve in two of the country’s highest-profile diplomatic postings.
It was not clear when either nomination would be announced, according to the person familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to publicly comment on the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House declined to comment on either Burns or Garcetti and noted that “no one is final until they’re announced.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a news conference with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Associated Press has previously reported that Biden has settled on former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to serve as his ambassador to Japan and former Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides to be ambassador to Israel. Neither of those selections has been publicly announced.
Prominent Democratic fundraisers Denise Bauer, Jane Hartley and David Cohen have also emerged as leading contenders for postings in France, Italy and Canada, respectively, according to people familiar with the White House deliberations but also not authorized to publicly comment on the matter. During the Obama administration, Bauer served as ambassador to Belgium, and Hartley was ambassador to France and Monaco. Cohen is a top executive at the cable company Comcast.
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Burns and Garcetti, if confirmed by the Senate, would come to their postings at high-pressure moments in the U.S. relationships with China and India.
Biden on Wednesday asked U.S. intelligence officials to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese lab.
The president has also pressed China’s Xi Jinping on his government crackdown of democracy activists in Hong Kong, human rights abuses against Uighur and ethnic minorities in the western Xinjiang provinc
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