WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) questioned R. Nicholas Burns, President Biden’s nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to China, on the threats the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses to U.S national security and how we can hold the CCP accountable for their dangerous behavior.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held Burns’ confirmation hearing today.
On Holding China Accountable:
“The Chinese Communist Party cannot be trusted. The world has seen China’s brutality, deception, illegal activities.
“We have seen China cover-up and spread disinformation about the coronavirus.
“We have seen China destroy Hong Kong’s autonomy.
“We have seen them engage in unlawful military activities in the South China Sea.
“We’ve seen China steal American intellectual property, and commit terrible human rights abuses.
“These are the actions of a dangerous and authoritarian regime. It is not a nation committed to the rule of law, to free markets, to protecting the rights of its people.
“It is clear that the United States and the international community must hold China accountable for its increasingly dangerous behavior.
“Just recently, the CIA Director Bill Burns recently stated that China ‘presents the greatest challenge to U.S. interests and to international order.’
“He also announced the creation of a new China Mission Center to, ‘strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government.’
“Do you concur and believe China’s increasingly adversarial government is the most important geopolitical threat the United States faces in the 21st century?”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso question Mr. Burns on the China threat.
On Ensuring China’s Commitment to the U.S.-China Phase One Trade Agreement:
“In January 2020, the United States and China signed a phase one trade agreement.
“China committed to buy $468 billion in U.S. goods, energy, agriculture, and services over a two year period of time.
“China appears to be failing to comply to this agreement. Reports indicate that China’s purchases have fallen far short for both 2020 and 2021.
“Do you believe China is committed to abiding by its promises under this agreement and what are options available to us to ensure that China does fulfill the terms of the agreement?
“In addition to goods and energy and agriculture products, there is also an intellectual property obligation under this U.S. – China Phase One Agreement.
“What steps can we take to ensure China fully implements and complies with its intellectual property obligations?”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso question Mr. Burns on the U.S-China Trade Agreement.
On China’s Relationship with Iran:
“Earlier this year, China and Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which China would invest as much as $400 billion in Iran over the next 25 years.
“Last month, Iran was accepted as a member in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
“China has long been importing Iranian oil in contravention of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Sanctioned Iranian airlines continue to fly to China.
“Not simply a matter of a few Chinese companies violating U.S. law. There is a lot going on here.
“It appears to be a strategic decision by the Chinese government to allow these violations to take place.
"What is your assessment of the current relationship between China and Iran?”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso question Mr. Burns on China and Iran.