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Biden taps career diplomat Nicholas Burns, not politician, for ambassador to China

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Veteran US diplomat Nicholas Burns has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as US ambassador to China, the White House said on Friday, signaling the administration may be looking for the envoy to play a more central role in the increasingly fractious relations between the two global rivals.

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The choice of Burns, a retired career foreign service officer who served as under secretary of state between 2005 and 2008, marks a shift for the role of the ambassador to Beijing, the ranks of which over the past decade have been filled by former politicians, not seasoned diplomats.

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