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Biden’s pick for UN ambassador to call for re-engagement with UN to counter Chinese influence

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President Joe Biden’s nominee for US ambassador to the United Nations plans to voice her support for the country’s re-engagement in the multilateral institution in order to counter Chinese influence during a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, according to excerpts of her testimony obtained by CNN.

“When America shows up — when we are consistent and persistent — when we exert our influence in accordance with our values — the United Nations can be an indispensable institution for advancing peace, security, and our collective well-being,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield plans to tell the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“If instead we walk away from the table, and allow others to fill the void, the global community suffers — and so do American interests,” her prepared remarks say. “In particular: We know China is working across the UN system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the founding values of the institution — American values. Their success depends on our continued withdrawal. That will not happen on my watch.”

The comments from Thomas-Greenfield, a respected career diplomat who was forced out at the beginning of the Trump administration, present a marked contrast to the US’ position on the UN for the last four years, as former President Donald Trump and his officials were highly critical of the institution and withdrew from a number of its agencies and initiatives.

Thomas-Greenfield, who has been praised by current and former US foreign service officers as an ideal candidate to restore the standing of the US and rebuild credibility at the venerable multilateral institution, is expected to draw on her past experience in the field during the hearing.

“Throughout my career, from Jamaica to Nigeria, Pakistan to Switzerland, I’ve learned that effective diplomacy means more than shaking hands and staging photo ops,” she plans to say, according to her prepared remarks. “It means developing real, robust relationships. It means finding common ground and managing points of differentiation. It means doing genuine, old-fashioned, people-to-people diplomacy.”

The longtime diplomat also plans to vow to work with Congress if confirmed, saying, “I want the conversation and collaboration we begin today to continue throughout my service as ambassador.

Thomas-Greenfield began her career in the foreign service in 1982. In her 35-year tenure, she has served as the director general of the Foreign Service, held an ambassadorship in Liberia and postings in Geneva, Pakistan, Kenya, Gambia, Nigeria and Jamaica, and was the top diplomat in the Bureau of African Affairs. She retired in 2017 after being pushed out of the department under then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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