Biden picks Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan and Nicholas Burns to China

Biden picks Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan and Nicholas Burns to China
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: President Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate Nicholas Burns as ambassador to China and Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan.

The two top diplomatic positions have been in the works for months but made official by the US president during a White House briefing about the biggest foreign policy crisis of the administration so far — the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Emanuel is a former mayor of Chicago, a senior adviser for President Bill Clinton, chief of staff to President Barack Obama and a member of Congress representing Illinois.

He was being considered for a number of jobs within the Biden administration, including transportation secretary. But his long track record in politics for the Democratic Party is likely to be overshadowed by a series of controversies during his time as Chicago mayor when he eventually faces during his confirmation hearing.

The city’s crime rate was high during his time. The police shooting of African-American teenager Laquan McDonald — a major reason he didn’t seek a third term as mayor — are questions he could face during Senate confirmation.

Emanuel apologized in 2015 for the circumstances surrounding the death of McDonald, including the fact the officer who killed him was charged and it took 13 months before police dashboard camera video of the shooting became public.

Burns, a longtime foreign policy hand and career diplomat, has served presidents of both the Democratic and Republican parties. If confirmed, Mr Burns would assume one of the most critical ambassador posts in the Biden administration, with the rise of China at the center of almost important policy discussions.

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