tv Confirmation Hearing for Ambassadors to China Japan CSPAN October 21, 2021 1:10am-4:52am EDT
>> next as the senate foreign relations committee bodes a senate confirmation hearing for several ambassador nominations. nicholas burns to ambassador to china. rahm emmanuel to japan and jonathan caplan to be ambassador to singapore. senator bob menendez chaired this hearing. >> this hearing of the
senate foreign relations committee will come to order. we are here today to consider nominees for three important positions. ambassadors to china, japan and singapore. on the first panel we'll hear from ambassador nicholas burns to be ambassador to china. i understand senator marky will introduce him at this time. >> ranking member risch, it's my absolute pleasure and honor to introduce nicholas burns, nominated to be the ambassador
of the united states of the people's republic. ambassador burns is a cherished son of our massachusetts, fellow boston college alumnist and -- alumnus, and proud member of red sox nations. i would also like to welcome his wife libby who's joined us today. name a diplomatic flash point of the last four decades and there a good chance ambassador burns was either a witness or active participant. in his exemplary career as member of the foreign service he served four u.s. presidents. among his assignments he spent five years at the national security council, first as director of soviet affairs under president george h.w. bush, and later as senior director for russia, ukraine and eurasia affairs under president clinton. in those roles he helped shepherd the united states through the collapse of the
soviet union and establishment of new relationships with the former soviet bloc countries. in 1997 he was named u.s. ambassador to greece, where he helped to expand our bilateral defense relationship and counterterrorism. in 2001, president george bush selected him to serve as u.s. ambassador to nato. he took this post one month before the attacks of 9/11. when the alliance invoked article 5 for the first time in its history. he later served as undersecretary of state for political affairs. the highest ranking foreign service officer in foggy bottom. ambassador burns has established a deep understanding of the united states' relationship with china and has been a returning visitor to china for more than three decades. as a junior officer he first accompanied secretary john schultz in 1988 and president bush in 1989. he later accompanied secretary madeline albright to hong kong in june 1987 for his handover
-- it's handover from the united kingdom to the people's republic of china. after his retirement from the foreign service, ambassador burns turned his attention to training the next generation of diplomats and security professionals at the harvard kennedy school. in short, there is no more qualified person than ambassador burns to serve in beijing as our top diplomat. i'm confident ambassador burns will seek to engage beijing where we must on the existential issues of the climate crisis and curbing flow of synthetic opioids. and bringing north korea to the negotiating table. but i'm equally confident he'll speak out forcefully about the chinese government abuses in hong kong and elsewhere. item burns, the men and women of the foreign service will have no greater champion. he has the experience, knowledge
and leadership skills for this critical post in a difficult but crucial time. in our relationship with the people's republic of china. in the commencement speech at our alma mater, boston college in 2002, ambassador burns concluded in summing up a school's ethos. it is the core belief that how we lead our lives should not be just about and for ourselves but about what we all can do. in the poet tenney sends -- tennyson's words, to seek a new world here on earth. ambassador burns once again seek that newer world here onnette. i yield back and urge the support of every committee member for this great ambassador ambassador. >> thank you for the glowing introduction. you are the fourth member of our committee, so we look forward to
you joining us on a regular basis when you are finished. ambassador burns, welcome to you and your wife. your an outstanding political servant. as a career foreign service officer we are grateful to you and your family for your willingness to serve our country . again, as you know, if confirmed, you would have a monumental task before you. the china of 2021 is not the china of 1971 or even the china of 2011. china today is challenging the united states and destabilizing the international community across every dimension of power. political, diplomatic, economic , military and even cultural. with an alternative and deeply disturbing global model of governance. i truly believe that china today led by the communist party and propelled by xi jinping's hypernationalism is unlike any challenge we've faced as a nation before. for decades, we have failed to
curb its growing rage and its predatory economic behavior and aggressive efforts to coerce neighbors in the maritime domain. the crushing of the religious autonomy of tibet and campaign of genocide against the uyghur people and digital authoritarianism to suppress its own people. china today is more active and more emboldened thavren before. -- than ever before. there should be little doubt that the right framework for thinking about our relationship with china today is strategic competition. not because that is necessarily what we want. but because of the choices beijing is making. therefore if confirmed, you will need to be clear-eyed about beijing's intentions and actions and play a key role in calibrating this administration's still emerging policy and strategy regarding china. this committee has engaged extensive extensively on china
over the last several months. including enacting a bill with overwhelming bipartisan support. enacting the bill is one critical step for ensuring a solid framework for white house and state department effort is efforts to address the challenge posed by china. i know you bring a wealth of diplomatic experience and skill. so we're very interested in hearing from you today about how you think of the challenge and in the international challenge of the international community faces from china and how you think we need to frame our strategy for success in this new era of of strategic competition. i look forward to hearing your testimony. let me turn to the ranking member. sen. risch: mr. chairman, like most members, i like many members of the committee have known nick for a long time. we first met early part of the last decade in luxembourg, when he was serving as ambassador to nato. i think it is appropriate he was appointed to this position which
demands a bipartisan approach. notwithstanding other issues, he's certainly taking a bipartisan approach to the challenges that china faces or that china has presented to us and that we will face over the rest of the century, i believe. the position of ambassador to china is one of the most important ambassadorial nominations we'll consider in this committee. the people's republic of china is leveraging its political, diplomatic, economic, military, technological and ideological power to wage strategic competition against the united states. the chinese communist party policies and actions threaten u.s. interests and values as well as those of allies and partners on just about every continent but particularly in the indo pacific. while this will persist for
decades, the competition is here now and we must act urgently. advancing u.s. interests in the indo pacific region must be our number 1 foreign policy priority. if confirmed, ambassador burns, you will be on the front lines of this competition. there are few priorities that form the foundation of the bipartisan strategic competition act led by senator menendez and myself, which passed through this committee earlier this year. first china's growing military might is shifting the regional balance of power in the indo pacific in its favor. we need to counter conventional -- china's conventional and nuclear buildup that threatens our interests and our allies. nowhere is china flexing this military might as much as in the taiwan strait. taiwan's president, "if taiwan were to fall the consequences , one catastrophic for regional peace and democratic alliance systems." it is imperative that we work actively to deter prc's coercion
and aggression towards taiwan. another issue that is not discussed as often, but must be, is china's pursuit of live sciences research with potential for weaponization causing concern about potential violations of the biological weapons convention. i've introduced legislation the biological weapons policy act , that would give our country team in china a larger role in ensuring biological research concentration with china does not put us or the world at risk. second, our diplomatic mission in china must be strengthened to address the economic and political facets of the competition at hand. that includes providing information to decision makers in washington on how the ccp seeks to assert undue political influence in our open society. in the economic front, must be up to the task of dealing with new challenges. china's ruling out laws and regulations to punish companies for complying with u.s. law, including our sanctions laws and
also stamping out all free market activity by asserting control over its financial institutions and its technology companies. another challenge when we need an active economic core is addressing pressing supply chain vulnerabilities, especially in technology and healthcare. of course, advancing human rights must continue to be a central priority in china policy. ambassador burns, you face a cap choice. china said it won't work with the u.s. on anything until the united states gives into the demands of its two lists. you and i discussed those lists yesterday. and some day i hope to be able to see those lists. how the biden administration plans to deal with that is not clear. in our diplomatic engagements, china has repeatedly shown a lack of interest in good faith discussions. yet the administration continues to assert that china will be a partner on a variety of issue, notably climate.
on taiwan, i applaud recent defense sales. we have also seen a lot of unclear messages, including recent resolutions to a taiwan agreement. and despite china's massive and unconstrained nuclear buildup, the administration is considering a sole purpose policy that would put u.s. allies at immense risk and shake confidence in u.s. deterrent commitments. i know our allies have created serious objections to the administration on this topic. so far the administration is refusing to share those with congress. this is even more important , given china's test this past week of a fractional orbital bam -- bombardment system carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle. such a system would allow to -- china to completely circumvent u.s. early warning capabilities and increase the u.s. to a nuclear attack. i look forward to hearing how you plan to address all of these challenges. i yield back. sen. menendez: thank you,
senator risch. we'll include your full statement for the record. and with that the floor is yours. burns: mr. chairman, thank you very much. ranking member risch, members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to be with you this morning. i'm very grateful to president biden for this nomination to be the next ambassador to the people's republic of china. i/o -- i owe profound thanks to my wife of 40 years, libby, who was seated just behind me. together, we've both over seed -- served overseas in israel, greece, and that nato in belgium. and both of us are grateful to our three daughters, our son-in-law and our grandchildren. if confirmed by the senate, i
look forward to returning to public service and the state department where i spent the bulk of my professional career. i've worked for administrations of both parties. and i'd be honored to lead our team at the u.s. mission in china that. team is on the front lines of this complicated and consequential relationship that we have with china. i'd like to explain our policy and the policy that i would like to support if confirmed by the senate. secretary tony blinken said in march the united states' relationship with the prc is the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century. we will compete and compete vigorously with the people's republic where we should, including on jobs and the economy. on critical infrastructure, on emerging technologies. as president biden has said. when the united states competes on a level playing field, there is no country on earth that can match us. we will cooperate with the prc where it is in our interest. including on climate change, counternarcotics, global health and of course on non proliferation. the world cannot solve the climate crisis without the prc doing more to reduce their
emissions. it's to our benefit to maintain engagement between our peoples as well, including student, scholars, diplomats and journalists so long as america's laws are respected. finally and crucially, we will challenge beijing where we must. including when it takes actions that run counter to american values and american interests. actions that might threaten the security of the united states or our allies and partners or undermine the rules-based international order. the prc seeks to become the most powerful country economically, politically and militarily in the indo pacific. we have to stand with allies and friends to uphold a free and open indo-pacific, including by maintaining america's commercial and military superiority in 21st century technologies.
we also have to hold the prc accountable for failing to play by the rules on trade and investment, including its theft of intellectual property, use of state subsidies, dumping of goods and unfair labor practices. these hurt american workers and they hurt american businesses. beijing has been an aggressor against india, along their long himalayan himalayan border. against vietnam, the philippines and others in the south china sea. against japan in the east china sea. and beijing has launched an intimidation campaign against australia, and even more recently, lithuania. its genocide, and abuses in tibet and smother of freedoms and its bullying of taiwan are unjust and must stop. beijing's recent actions against taiwan are especially objectionable. the united states is right to continue its one china policy.
but we're also right to support the peaceful resolution of disputes in this region and to oppose unilateral actions to undermine the status quo and the stability of the region. the administration and congress together on a bipartisan basis should help taiwan to maintain a self defense capability. and that's the language of the taiwan relations act of 1979. the biden administration as well is surely right to seek effective channels of communication with beijing, to manage this competition responsibly, to diminish the risk of an accidental conflict, and above all to maintain the peace. the united states has to proceed from a position of strength and pursue intense diplomacy in all these matters. beijing proclaims that the east is rising and the west in decline.
i'm confident in our own country . i believe that with our allies and partners we can prove them wrong. our very close alignment here in washington between congress and the executive branch. the bipartisan senate passage of the innovation and competition act earlier this year is a very wise investment in america's future and our ability to compete. and finally, mr. chairman, i'd say this is my final point. the people's republic of china is not an olympian power. it is a country of extraordinary strength. but it also has substantial weaknesses and challenges, demographically, economically, politically. we should have confidence in our strengths. american strengths. confidence in our business community, in our innovation community. in our universities. in our ability to attract the best students from around the world.
confidence in our unmatched military and our first rate foreign service and civil service. confidence in our values that stand in brilliant opposition to china's authoritarian regime. we will succeed if we build this american strength around our diplomacy with the people's republic of china. on that basis, mr. chairman, if confirmed i'm looking forward to , working with the committee. i've enjoyed my meetings over the last three weeks, and i hope together we can form an effective and strong policy towards china. thank you very much. sen. menendez: thank you, ambassador. we'll start a round of five minutes. before i start mine, let me ask some questions we ask for the committee as a hole. -- whole. these are questions that speak to the importance that this committee places on responsiveness by all officials in the executive branch and we expect and will be seeking from
you. i'd ask you to provide just a simple yes or no answer to these questions. do you agree to appear before this committee and make officials from your office available to the committee and designated staff when invited? burns: yes. sen. menendez: do you commit to keep the committee fully informed about the activities under your purview? burns: yes. sen. menendez: do you commit to engaging mario in meaningful consultation not just providing notification after the fact? burns: yes. sen. menendez: and do you commit to promptly responding for briefings and information requested by the committee and designated staff? burns: yes. sen. menendez: thank you. well let me start off. first of all, i think your statement encompasses many of the sentiments, concerns and questions that members of the committee had. and together we have to work to make sure that xi jinping is wrong. that the east is not setting,
that it will continue to shine. many experts emphasize important of u.s. collaboration and joint action with allies, partners, and multi lateral organizations to address challenges that china poses. however collaboration can be harder in practice than in theory, particularly when countries have different views and competing interests. in what specific areas can you speak to, that collaboration has been helpful in addressing the challenges that china poses? and what areas and with which countries do you see particular opportunities or constraints? burns: mr. chairman, thank you. and i think this is the right question to ask about how we form a strategy that can be successful against the china's -- chinese government. the comparative advantage that we have, versus china is that we have treaty allies. we have partners who deeply believe in us and the chinese really do not. in the indo pacific, i think president biden emphasized the need for us to be very closely aligned with japan, with south
korea, with australia, our treaty allies, our defense partners, the philippines and thailand. as you know, and i think every administration since clinton has been working on this, we have a newfound security partner in india. that makes a great difference to be aligned as they clearly are strategically in the indo-pacific. and president biden has taken the quad idea. i give credit to president trump and secretary pompeo for reinvigorating the quad in 2019 and 20. but president biden has held two independent government meetings of the quad, one individually and one in person at the white house. deepening our strategic engagement with australia and the united kingdom could be transformational. and i think has been widely praised to be such in the ind -- indo pacific. as we confront china on the
military balance of power in the pacific. whether the fight to push china to play by the rules on trade. we have a coincide of use with japan, the european union, the european allies on all these issues. and i think the president has focused on the indo-pacific but he's also focussing on the european allies. i have seen a change in the last two or three years inside -- in the attitudes of most european governments. now much more skeptical about china on 5g, on china's nefarious belt and road initiative influence in eastern europe and so i do think it is a big part of the strategy that we need to continue to work on. sen. menendez: now let me turn to taiwan. given increasing aggression and threatening rhetoric from beijing, some have called for an end to the policy of strategic ambiguity with regard to taiwan. how do you think the united states can most effectively signal our resolve and deter chinese aggression towards taiwan?
burns: chairman. this is a central question these days. particularly after all the bullying and intimidation tactics of the chinese towards taiwan. the sending of 150 chinese aircraft into the air identification zone of taiwan just ten days ago. my own view, and fortunately this is backed up i think by both the biden administrations and every other administration going back four decades, is that we have enormous latitude in the -- congress and the executive branch under the taiwan relations act, to deepen our security assistance to taiwan. the taiwan relations act written in january 1979 is remarkably modern for the strategic questions we're facing in 2021. it says that we have an unofficial relationship with taiwan, obviously. but we have a responsibility to help taiwan achieve a self defense capability through the provision of defense articles and services. since 2009, the obama and the trump and the biden administrations have provided about $30 billion worth of
assistance to taiwan. given what china's done, given china's frankly objectionable statements towards taiwan, i think the congress and executive branch have every right to continue to deepen our security cooperation, to expand our arms provisions to taiwan. that's the most important thing we can do. in addition to that, the taiwan relations act also calls for the united states to provide the strongest possible deterrent. to be specific, the language of 1979, or the indian ocean as we referred to it today. and in addition to that, as a third measure, we ought to be zg and we are asking our allies to show a real commitment to taiwan. and we're seeing that from japan and other allies. finally, mr. chairman, we've got to be very clear about our
criticism of china. what the chinese are trying to do, to this very successful society, on taiwan. with this very healthy democracy, extraordinary performance in the coronavirus, is to simply intimidate them. so we've all got to speak up and shine a light on those chinese actions and chinese rhetoric. that's essentially the policy of the last 40 years. i think that policy is the right one and the smart one for today. sen. menendez: thank you. senator risch. sen. risch: thank you. mr. chairman, let's pick up with taiwan where you left off. how do you differentiated what has happened in hong kong with taiwan? in reading and listening to the chinese, it seems to me that taiwan is even more of an irritant to them than hong kong was. fortunately, taiwan's got the sea between themselves and china.
but i really fear that we're going to see the same kind of pushing the envelope in taiwan that gets it to a point where there is a crisis. what are your views on that? burns: senator, you are right to ask that question. i share your concern. as senator markey mentioned, i wasn't state department spokesman, i accompanied secretary albright on june 30th 1997 to the handover to prc on -- up hong kong. and all of us remember but i particularly remember that day the commitments they made to the people of hong kong and to the rest of us around the world and the chinese have gone back on every one of those commitments. so, if we link that to taiwan, we obviously cannot trust china to meet the commitments its made on the taiwan issue. when congress passed the taiwan relations act, when administration after
administration pursued a one china policy, we obviously did so on the presumption there would be peace in the cross-strait relation between taiwan and china. and there is no peace today. today there is assertiveness and aggression. we cannot trust the chinese on this issue. we have to be aware of their rhetoric, aware of it and the rhetoric of its leader and many other chinese leaders in recent months has been they intend to take back taiwan. our responsibility is to make taiwan a tough nut to crack. help it increase its asymmetric defenses through the taiwan relations act and other country -- countries can do that as well. it is a central issue in the relationship now. sen. risch: and i agree with that. the thing that, i guess i'm concerned about as much as anything is watching what they have been doing with their incursions into the air space, it reminds me a lot of hong kong. it is just pushing the envelope. it is a camel's nose in the tent
and it just gets worse and worse until it collapses. so that's just something that i think we're going to have to watch very closely. let's talk about china's nuclear build up. do you agree that they are pursuing a massive nuclear buildup in china? burns: it certainly appears so. both in the western part of china with the reports of the icbm expansion and also with this novel delivery system that's been publicized of late. sen. risch: one thing concerning to me and i think others of the committee, there's this discussion of the administration -- within the administration of a sole purpose nuclear policy, which is in essence no first use. it is another way of saying no first use, but it's not as direct. but it is the exact same thing.
i would help you would become a spokesman within the administration about how damaging that kind of a declaration would be, a sole purpose declaration. i'm not sure if you are aware of this, but i can guarantee you the allies, particularly ones counting on us in the indo-pacific region are very concerned about the declaration of sole purpose nuclear policy. what are your thoughts on that? burns: senator i appreciated our conversation last evening on this in your office. and as i explained, i'm a private citizen appearing before you as a nominee without access to the intelligence. i don't have a security clearance, so i'm very reluctant to speak specifically about the nuclear policy review which is under way. but i do know that president biden has indicated clearly that he is going to support the strongest possible and the
safest american nuclear deterrent, as every president has done since president harry truman. and that is obviously an obligation to the american people. i would also just add, senator risch, we also talked about this last week. i think the spotlight should be on china. they have said for decades, the chinese government, they want to have a minimum nuclear deterrent. they are blasting past that definition. and they are rapidly engaged in the buildup of their nuclear arsenal. including disturbing reports of hypersonic technology. so i think the spotlight has to be on the government of china. sen. risch: well i agree with that. you having the credentials that you have on a bipartisan basis and your deep knowledge of our allies, particularly ones that we have defensive posture with. i would hope you would be a spokesman within the administration regarding this. i'm very concerned about it.
a lot of people are concerned about it. and i understand that you have done an excellent job throughout your career of carrying water on both shoulders for administration from either party. i think that brings a tremendous amount of credibility to you. and i think your words in that regard would be very important. as they proceed with the nuclear posture review, i have no doubt they will be consulting with you given the position you are in. so i would urge that you communicate in the strongest terms to the administration the concern that our allies in the region have for this policy. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. menendez: senator cardin. sen. cardin: thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador burns, first of all let me thank you for your incredible career of public service. you have really advanced american values globally in every post you have held. and i personally appreciated your advice during very difficult times.
so thank you very much for your service to our country. and your willingness to continue in this critical role as our ambassador in china. there are so many issues that we need to talk about. and we've already mentioned a lot of of our national security concerns. we know that china is belligerent in the china seas. making claims that are outrageous. and affect international commerce and our national security. we know that they are trying to change the rules of engagement economically, so that they determine the rules based upon the government-controlled economy rather than an open economy, which is against their national security interests. we know how belligerent they are against taiwan. and the list goes on and on and on. but i want to devote my time to what president biden has said, that we are strongest when we conduct our foreign policy based upon our values.
and china in the recent decades has just been moving in the wrong direction on universal human right values. and we could go through the entire list. and it's a long list. so i guess my question to you, how will you balance and strategize america's presence in china through your mission to advance universal values of the respect for individuals, religious freedom, human rights and basic beliefs that the universal community that believes in democracy looks to america's leadership as hope for the future? burns: senator, thank you very much for that question. and thank you for your decades of service to those issues. i'm very well aware of that. i think you are right to suggest that as we think about our tools, our strengths, as we compete with china, it is our belief in human freedom and
human rights and democracy and the rule of law, in press freedoms that really stands in opposition to an authoritarian dictatorship in beijing. and so if we can marshal those strengths and president biden and this administration believe this is at the center of their foreign policy on xinjiang on tibet, on hong kong, on the repression of the chinese people, we can't just do that sometimes. we can't -- we cannot be silent if there are atrocities occurring or in the case of xinjiang, a genocide is occurring. we have to speak out and we've seen all the officials been very forthright of that since january 20th of this year. i think that will continue and that will certainly be if i am confirmed a hallmark of what i try to do, speak willing directly to the chinese government in beijing.
sen. cardin: i would ask also that you inform this committee as to how we can give you a stronger hand in dealing on these issues. we have passed sanctioned regime laws that have been used against oppressors in china, individual sanctions such as bignitsky, as well as sectoral sanctions have been used. but i think they are extremely important. but we need to also think beyond that to give you what you need. the competitiveness bill as the chairman mentions i think is going to be extremely important part of our strategy in standing up to china's oppression on the economic front. but we should also be looking at what we can do as a congress to give you a stronger hand in china in dealing with these universal rights. so i would welcome your advice as to what we can do to give you a stronger tool box in dealing
with these issues. burns: thank you, senator. and i would just suggest a couple of things, and i've spoken to the chairman and other members of the committee in my individual meetings about them. first and foremost, one that coronavirus hopefully and. and that restrictions on visitors will end i hope members , of both parties will travel to china. i think they need to hear directly from our legislative branch on these issues. these will be difficult conversations, for you and for me with the chinese leadership. but we have to have them. secondly, i would encourage you to continue what you are doing, what this committee has done under the chairman's leadership and senator risch's leadership on a bipartisan basis to speak out and legislate when necessary and to sanction when necessary. third, and finally, president biden was right on the issue of xinjiang and the uyghurs and
the other turkic muslim peoples when he coalesced with canada t --, the european union and united kingdom in multi national sanctions against specific chinese individuals responsible for carrying out the atrocities . and i think that can be helpful as well to expand our voice to work with other nation, perhaps through the nato parliamentary assembly and your parliamentary exchanges with the japanese, australians and others. , sen. menendez: senator johnson. sen. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador burns thank you for your prior service and your willingness to serve in this capacity. i agree with you that if we act intelligently, the u.s. in concert with our allies in the west, we can compete with china. china though has advantages in terms of very long term, very strategic thinking, authoritarian. they don't have the back and
forth of elections, that type of thing. so they have utilized that long-term strategic thinking while the west really has not done much to counter their infiltration to our institutions, their stealing of our intellectual property since their entry into the wto. and just comment on how do we counter what they have done? and how do we do that effectively? burns: senator, thank you. i think it is a central question. we have to have a strategy to match china's strategy. i think that is beginning to develop over the last several years in the administration, the last three administrations. president obama, president trump and president biden. and as i said in my testimony, what distinguishes us and strengthens us is the fact that we have our alliance with japan. and our alliance with australia and south korea. and i've been involved in my past diplomatic career in intensive discussions with the
europeans. i think they are less united perhaps than the european union right now, but i sense that the europeans are shifting to understand the threat. the threat to them. as well as to us and our indo-pacific allies. i think operating on an allied basis is the most important thing we can do. and sometimes that means we form institutions. so the quad is an institution that both parties can be proud of. republican and democratic presidents have supported the quad. and now president biden is operationalizing it ahead of government level, which we hadn't done before. auukus, three countries coming together. we need to build the institutions are that permanent and take this policy we're discussing this discussing this
horning into the 2030s because the competition with china will be multi-decade. sen. johnson: i want to discuss into the university systems the confucian institutes there, their investments in things like medical journals. it really concerns me. there is so much, for example, we don't know about the coronavirus. so much we don't know about covid. i really do and i really want to get your take on a real potential full-line -- full line fault line when we start learning more. for example, about the origin theory. i don't know whether it was lab leak, whether it was natural origin. people are starting to look into that. obviously there is a cover up here for 18 months. and as a result gave china a good head start at burying evidence. at an event at the harvard kennedy center, you work critical of china saying this was an article -- army exercise.
but at the same time, you were critical of president trump for calling it the chinese virus or or the the wuhan virus. you said that we all know that's wrong. we all know that's racist. we all know that's not true. i guess i'm kind of wondering, how did you know? we still don't know. how are you so positive that this wasn't a lab leak theory? have you changed your mind? have you seen other evidence that would at least open up your mind to that prospect? because if it is determined that it probably was not a natural origin and this did leak from a lab in wuhan, that will have very serious geopolitical repercussions between our relationship with china. burns: thank you, senator. i want to agree with you briefly on the issue of students and exchanges. we ought to welcome chinese students into the united states. but student visas are not a right. they have to be earned. our laws have to be observed. there are some chinese student applicants who have ties to the pla, the people's liberation
army, and china's intelligence services and we should turn them down for visas. and we have to be clear about that. but we also have 375,000 students in our universities and secondary schools, in your state and my state, at my university. and we are better off having them in this country to learn about our democracy. on the controversy, the problem here is with china. the chinese government withheld information very clearly from their own people and the rest of the world for about a month in late december and january of 2020. i have consistently criticized the chinese government for that and they deserve to be kris -- criticized. and they've been stonewalling all of us around the world since january 2020 including this week , when they refused to act with the world health organization's new investigative body to answer the question that you rightfully asked.
sen. johnson: my question, are you so certain that lab leak is off the table. you were very certain back then. you said it was -- we all know that's not true. have you changed your thinking on that? i think it is important you have -- if you are we to be ambassador china, that you have a more open mind on this than you exhibited back in march 2020. burns: so senator, i spoke often about this issue of u.s.china relations at that period of time. and i believe that quote from the kennedy school event was directed to president trump's use of the term "wuhan virus," which i did not think would be effective with the chinese government or chinese people or people around the world. it had nothing to do with the origins of the crisis of the pandemic. my position has been all along and continues to this day, we need to investigate. we don't know where the -- how this virus originated for sure. there are multiple theories and the chinese need to answer the questions. so i have never been a proponent of either one of these two options. but i think as president biden has said, we need to push the
chinese to come clean about what happened. sen. johnson: thanks for that clarification, i appreciate it. thank you. sen. menendez: thank you. senator shaheen. sen. shaheen: thank you for your willingness to continue to serve the united states. as i'm sure you are aware there have been reported health cases of anomalous syndromes in china, also known as havana syndrome, have you been briefed on the reported cases in china? burns: senator, i do not have a security clearance, so i've not been briefed, in detail, about what has happened to our mission personnel there. but i've had unclassified open conversations with the state department. and what i would say to you is my own view just as a private citizen is that this is real. it's happening to our diplomats and other government personnel around the world. and if confirmed, are my -- my obligation to you and more particularly to the men and women of our mission in china is to do everything under my pour
-- power to protect them working with our secretary of state and all of our other officials. sen. shaheen: thank you very much. i appreciate that. is hope you will also request from the state department once confirmed, that classified briefing that also includes how to encourage personnel to respond if they are affected and what to look for in terms of those attacks. because to date, there doesn't seem to be a consistent response and direction for personnel. burns: thank you. sen. shaheen: you mentioned in your opening remarks and in the questioning about the increased chinese influence in eastern europe and also lithuania, which is one example of an eastern european country that has taken a hard stance on china. in july, they actually became the first european country to allow taiwanese diplomatic presence using the island's name in the country. can you talk about what you think the impact of lithuania's
stance is? we know it has produced a response from china. but will it have impact on other eastern european countries and encourage them to take a hard look at what china is doing? burns: thank you. lithuania has chosen its course. and every country has a right to define its relationship with taiwan. and i'm proud that the biden administration has stood up for lithuania. and you know, it is extraordinary. the chinese government has launched an intensive intimidation campaign. economic intimidation. of lithuania. and the lithuanians have stood up and they've held their ground. they deserve our support, as australia does. and australia has been subjected to the same treatment. we have our own policy, the one china policy, which we should adhere to. our unofficial relationship with taiwan, which has served us well. every other country should have a right to determine what they want to do and they shouldn't be bludgeoned and bullied by the chinese leadership.
sen. shaheen: thank you very much. i couldn't agree more with that and i think lithuania deserves lot of credit for a small country being willing to stand up in the way they have. earlier this month, nato secretary jens stoltenberg insisted nato must engage politically with china. but the alliance doesn't seem to see china as as much of a threat as they do russia. does china view nato in the same way? and what do you think nato's strategies should be towards china? burns: thank you, senator. it's been really interesting for me as a former ambassador to nato to see how high on the agenda china has become. over the last couple of years during president trump's time and now president biden's time. and the focus is right. i mean, certainly, russia is the immediate focus of the north atlantic treaty organization. and especially considering latvia, lithuania, estonia, and poland, right up on the front lines as we try to contain russian power.
but i think the nato countries, led by a great secretary general, jen stoltenberg, also understands, the belt and road initiative is now in 16 countries in eastern europe. the chinese are actively trying to separate countries in eastern europe from the european union and nato. and if you think about chinese energy activities and military activities in the eastern mediterranean sea, which is part of the nato littoral geography, and think about the interests of germany, of france, italy, any of the nato countries, they've got to be concerned about what's happening in xinjiang province, what's happening in taiwan in , hong kong, and the economic practices of china. my last point would be, if we can coalesce with the european union, the united states, and japan on some of the economic issues, we're well more than 60% of gdp. it's real leverage. so europe has to be part of this
strategy. and i credit ambassador kay bailey hutchison who was our great american ambassador under president trump, she pushed this issue and she was right to do that. europe? >> the reason -- >> or are they ignoring that? >> i don't think they're ignoring it, senator. the reason i use the term china is not an olympian power in my statement, and i meant it specifically, they have enormous strengths, they have very few friends. they have no real allies. think of the strategic advantage we have with our 29 allies, in canada, the europeans, and nato, and our multiple treaty allies in the indo-pacific. it is our comparative advantage,
i think president biden has been working overtime with secretary blinken to reach out to our allies in nato and the indo-pacific to say we need to be working together strategic on china. >> thank you thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. let me echo senator shaheen's comments about lithuania. how we respond is a test for the west. when a country stands up against china and then faces the enormous economic consequences that china is creating against lithuanian businesses by denying them supply chain opportunities, which is a wake-up call for the world, i think it's incredibly important that we stand by lithuania extremely strongly. senator romney. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wish to associate myself with the comments of the chairman and the ranking member at the beginning of this hearing. it's good to see you, ambassador, and very deeply appreciate your willingness to serve, once again, your country at a critical time. we all know china's ambition.
they've described what it is. they seek to replace us as the global leader. the prospect of a global order led by china is one which is troubling for many reasons. we can see what that might look like based upon what they're doing even now, censoring their media, blacking out social media in their country, stealing intellectual property from us and from others, reneging on treaties and promises they've made, repressing religion and people of faith, monitoring their own citizens and assigning social grades based upon their loyalty to the chinese regime, the communist regime, oppressing minorities of all kinds and of course committing genocide. we say that quickly, but genocide, eliminating a people, enslaving a people, as they are, all these things suggest that a global order led by china would be something which the world could not possibly endure. there was probably a time, a
decade or so ago, when if you were the ambassador to china, you could go in and pound your fist on the table and they would take note and perhaps change course on some of the things we care most about because they're worried about their access to the u.s. market. is that true today, can we sort of tell china what to do and will they respond, or are we no longer in that position? >> senator, thank you, and i appreciated the conversation we had in your office two weeks ago about all these issues. i think our relationship is fundamentally different now than it was ten years ago or 20 years ago. and i've spoken to most of the former american ambassadors about this. and we're in an entirely new age where we've got to have channels of communication to work with the chinese. first of all, we want to mitigate the danger of an accidental conflict. we want to maintain the peace. but we also want to have clear messaging. and i think multiple channels make sense. if confirmed, i'll be on point for the country and the government in beijing, talking
directly to the chinese. i think it's very important for members to travel there, members of congress and ultimately, most important, for the president to have direct conversations as he is seeking to do. he's had phone conversations with president xi jinping. but these are difficult conversations. and you've seen the aggressiveness of the chinese officials. you've seen the nationalism. you've seen the wolf warrior diplomacy. it's part of the fabric of what we're dealing with now. and my final point, senator, would be to say, we're a strong country. we should be confident of our values and our interests. and we can stand up to the chinese. but our allies and partners can help to do that so that there's real weight and leverage. and i do think that's the focus. >> what is your sense of the commitment of our allies to that -- to that effort? we've spoken already this morning about nato and our friends and allies there. perhaps germany is not quite as committed as, let's say, lithuania.
but as you look at our allies, are we advancing in terms of our mutual efforts? or is there some retreat on the part of key allies? >> i don't see retreat. certainly i think we're seeing a stiffening of the resolve of japan, which is so important for us. australia, rock solid on these issues. india, not an ally, not a treaty ally, but a strategic military partner in the bay of bengal and the western pacific, very important for us. europe is different. there are so many countries with different views. of course we're waiting for the formation of the german government, we'll have to wait and see what the social democrats and the greens do. but i would note that the greens were very critical of china during the recent campaign in germany. and certainly president macron has spoken out about the dangers of china in the indo-pacific. and france is unique among the
european powers because it is an indo-pacific country as well. and so i think we've got to work both the north atlantic alliance, the european union, but especially our indo-pacific allies, to be successful. >> there are some who look at china and say it's a juggernaut, there's no way to slow it down, it's not a course that is unstoppable. do you see it that way? is there a way of dissuading china from a course as malevolent as what we're seeing today? do they have some fundamental weaknesses that the rest of the world recognizes and can get them to divert from the course they're on? >> it's certainly a -- yours is certainly a key analytical question. none of us can deny the extraordinary growth and the power of china militarily, technologically, economically, and politically over the last 30 to 40 years. but we shouldn't exaggerate that power. i said in my statement, china has significant demographic
challenges over the next few decades. it has angered nearly all the countries on its border by being overly aggressive an acquisitive. think of the south china sea and the outrageous attempts of china to run roughshod over the law of the sea treaty and the legal obligations china is ignoring. think of the east china sea and their attempt to intimidate, but they have not succeeded, our ally japan. and think of taiwan. and so i think the chinese have, by being so aggressive, they've now stirred up a lot of opposition to them. and i think we ought not to exaggerate their strengths or underestimate the strengths of the united states. what we need is self-confidence that the united states is a strong country. and i do think our values are the strongest part of our strategy towards china. >> thank you, ambassador.
>> thank you. senator coons. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member. thank you, ambassador burns, for your willingness to continue your service overseas. you are the right nominee at the right moment for what is an absolutely critical relationship for the 21st century. and i think in your opening statement, you laid out, wisely, the challenges that are before us. so i am particularly pleased, given your deep experience in the foreign service, as ambassador to greece and to nato, your work leading the aspen strategy group, in which i've gotten to see your remarkable talents both in strategic insight and personal diplomacy. and my thanks to libby, the support you've gotten from your spouse and family across a long career in service. just a few questions, if i might. i know there are many others who have questions. but first, i think part of what you bring to this is an understanding of how to effectively deploy that key
strategic advantage of allies and partners. and i think you correctly point out that china's greatest current global weakness is the absence of any real partners or allies. so given your experience as ambassador, first to greece and later to nato, how do you envision the u.s./europe trans-atlantic alliance responding to the strategic competition with china, the values competition? and how do you think you can best play a role in engaging our allies in the indo-pacific and in europe? >> senator, thank you very much for those comments and for your question. in my entire diplomatic career, probably the lesson i learned most vividly was 9/11, when i was a very new ambassador. i was on my 12th day. and we were hit hard, 3,000 people dead in the united states. and we couldn't reach the pentagon, the white house, and the state department, because they had all been evacuated. but my phone started to ring at nato headquarters and it was the
canadian ambassador, david wright. and the german ambassador and the italian and french ambassadors, "we're with you, we want to invoke article v." that's the bond. we invoked article v the next day. that's the bond we have with our allies. it's based in part on strategic interests that we have in common. but it's fundamentally based in values, democracy, and human rights. and that's the coalition we need to form vis-à-vis china. and i credit president biden. when he came to office from his inaugural speech to his first speech in the state department to his g7 and nato and eu meetings, and you know this very well, senator, because you're so close to him, he has been consistent in saying we're going to succeed most if we're with our allies. and secretary blinken has been working tirelessly on this. and i think it is going to be, frankly, most challenging perhaps in europe. it's not the fault of the europeans, but it's a big group of countries and a multiple
multiplicity of views. i would just say, and we had a chance to talk about this this morning together, we need to be together on human rights. we need to stand up together. europeans and americans, on the uighur issue, on tibet, on hong kong, and on taiwan. and we need to be together on trade because both of us are victims of chinese unfair trade practices. and think of the power of the eu, the u.s., perhaps japan, working together. i think that's part of the strategy that we have to operate. >> thank you, ambassador. i do think we're in an era where concerns about the digital world and the role of the individual in a digital age are also at the forefront. i'm very concerned about the way in which china has developed and deployed the technology to surveil and censor, to even control its own population and
actions they've taken to export not just that technology, but that attitude, to other countries around the world. how do you think we can best work with global partners to offer an alternative vision in which digital technologies serve democratic values and then to embed that in a common trade framework with the values partners you were just referencing? >> thank you, senator. this is also a central question. and president biden, from his inaugural speech on, has been talking about the need for democracies to recognize the threat from the authoritarian world. that's principally the people's republic of china and russia and others around the world. and to see the pernicious use -- misuse of technology to repress their own citizens and then to try to export that technology in countries where there's a struggle between democratic, small "d" democratic forces, and
authoritarian forces, we've got to be operating all across the world to help the democratic forces and to help blunt this technological impact. i think it's a very important issue. i know the state department and secretary blinken are seized by it. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. i look forward to supporting your nomination and working closely with you. i think better understanding china, better communicating with china about our risks and opportunities is an important and critical role but also clearly advocating america's interests and values is an essential role. i think you'll be an excellent ambassador and i look forward to supporting your nomination. >> thank you. senator barrasso. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador burns, welcome to the committee. the chinese communist party cannot be trusted. the world has seen china's brutality, deception, illegal activities. we've seen china cover up, spread disinformation about the coronavirus. we've seen china destroy hong kong's autonomy. we've seen them engage in
unlawful military activities in the south china sea. we've seen china steal american intellectual property, commit terrible human rights abuses. now, these to me are actions of a dangerous and authoritarian regime. it's not a nation committee to committed to the rule of law, to protecting free markets, to the american people. china must be held accountable for its dangerous behavior. bill burns stated china presents the greatest challenge to u.s. interests and to international order, close quote. he also announced the creation of a new china mission center to, quote, strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat that we face in the 21st century which is an increasingly adversarial chinese government. do you concur and believe that china's increasingly adversarial government is the most important
geopolitical threat that the united states faces in the 21st century? >> thank you, senator. i agree with my long time friend and foreign service colleague, director bill burns. i agree with the statement he made. i noticed it. i read his statement. he and i grew up, the first ten years of our career were the end of the cold war when the soviet union was the greatest threat. there's no question, in the 21st century, given chinese power, and we talked about this this morning, china is the greatest threat to the security of our country and of the democratic world. >> thank you. i want to ask you about the u.s./china phase 1 agreement. january of 2020, the united states and china signed a phase 1 trade agreement. china committed to buy $468 billion of u.s. goods, energy, agricultural, and services over a two-year period of time. they really do -- 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? >> thank you, senator. this is going to be a contentious issue and it has been for a long time between our two countries. i think you know that the u.s. trade representative, ambassador catherine tie, gave a speech in washington 2 1/2 weeks ago and she was very forthright in saying -- i'm just summarize her main point, saying that she would talk to her chinese counterpart about that phase 1 deal and about the performance of the chinese government in meeting or not meeting its commitments. and i think she was right to suggest that that has to be the first order of business on trade with china. and obviously we in the united states need to make investments in our own economy to strengthen it, which the president and congress are working on. and we have to overcome the ravages of covid-19 before we can probably get on to bigger
initiatives. but i think she was right to start there. hold china to account for what it promised president trump. and i think most observers and experts would say they have not fulfilled their obligations. >> in addition to goods and energy and agriculture products, there is also an intellectual property obligations under this u.s./china phase 1 agreement. what steps can we take to ensure that china fully implements and complies with the intellectual property? >> that's a key issue because it gets to the systemic violations of china's wto commitments. i named some of them in my statement. intellectual property theft, dumping, state subsidies. part of it is getting at the systemic problems that i think everyone recent president has wrestled the chinese on.
>> for my final question, 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 of the shanghai cooperation organization. china's 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's a lot going on here. it appears to be a strategic decision by the chinese government to allow these violations to take place. what's your assessment of the current relationship between china and iran? >> this is a very serious issue. as you portray it, and you're right, this is a closer relationship than china and iran had, say, when i was the iran negotiator for secretary condoleeza rice. when china joined us in three
u.n. security council regulations in 2007 and 2008. now they have a closer relationship. what we ought to do and what we will do i'm sure in president biden's administration, talk to the chinese directly about this. and obviously hold the chinese to account, to abide by every u.n. security council sanctions rulings that prohibited most of this activity. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. ambassador, thank you for your long service to the nation and your willingness to continue in a difficult but critical post. when the obama administration negotiated the paris accords, it was critical that they secure commitments from the fastest growing economies which happen to be the fastest growing polluters, to make significant commitments. of course india and china are at the top of this list. we lost four years in holding
both of those nations to their commitments. and so you and this administration are going to be making up for lost time. india is arguably, you know, in the neighborhood of being able to make their commitment at paris. china is not. in fact a recent report found that chinese emissions in 2019 were so big that they were larger than that of the entire developed world as a whole. and so i would be interested to hear from you what you believe are the commitments that can be realistically made bit chinese, especially in the short term, as we get ready for cop26, and the extent of our ability to pass significant climate legislation will enable you to be a more forceful interlocutor on questions of chinese claim.
>> thank yo -- climate. >> thank you, senator. this is what makes this relationship so difficult, because we're competing and we're engaging at the same time. climate is perhaps the signature issue on the cooperation side. and obviously we -- president obama was able to work with president xi jinping in 2015. that was former. former secretary john kerry is now working tirelessly on this issue. china's emissions will not diminish until 2030. most think that is not sustainable, that china needs to make a greater effort to diminish its carbon emissions before 2030. also say they they'll be carbon neutral in 2060. it's got to be before that.
because you're right, china is the largest emitter today, they have an obligation to the rest of us, beginning at cop26 and going on, this will be a major issue in our relationship. >> i want to ask you for a second about your assessment of the scope and breadth the chinese diplomacy today. there was a sort of flurry of attention to a milestone in 2019 where china surpassed the united states with respect to the number of diplomatic posts it has around the world. i was in ireland that same year where there was an important telecommunications tender and we were hearing stories about a surge of diplomats being sent to the embassy in dublin. meanwhile we had one very nice and capable military attache who was the beginning and end of our diplomatic team working on behalf of u.s. companies for this tender. it seems as if china is -- has
diplomatic reach in new places and has an ability to be flexible and nimble in a way that we do not. one of the things that i believe we should be engaging in is more subnational diplomacy, using our state leaders and our local leaders to engage all around the world on behalf of the united states, something china does fairly well. just a quick assessment from you as to the state of chinese diplomatic efforts around the world, how it's changed over the past five or ten years, and any recommendations that you might give to this committee as we seek to empower u.s. diplomacy to compete with china. >> thank you, senator. the chinese have sought to become the most active in their minds and most powerful diplomatic force in the world for my entire career, until a couple of years ago, the united states had more embassies and consulates in the world than any other country. as of last autumn, china had 275
embassies and consulates and the united states, 273. is it meaningful? yes. it means we have to compete. we're competing militarily, we competing economically. we've got to compete diplomatically. i can assure you, we have an outstanding foreign service. i've gotten to know over the past couple of months the men and women on our china desk in east asia. they're superb experts. we need to make a commitment to modernize and strengthen our foreign service and civil service. that's part of our diplomatic power. finally, senator, i think you're right, diplomacy is not just for people like me, state department diplomats. we need multiple channels to create the coalitions and friendships that can limit china. that can be state governors and legislatures and ngos, subnational actors, as you call them. and i think we've got to have an all-country embrace of connecting with our allies to
support our interests vis-à-vis china. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator hagerty. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador burns, nice to have you here today. i would like to talk with you about china's strategy to dominate the 21st century. we just learned over the weekend that china has deployed for the first time what's known as the hypersonic glide missile. as "the financial times" reported, i'm going to quote, china tested a nuclear capable hypersonic missile in august that circled the globe before speeding toward its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught u.s. intelligence by surprise. if china deploys hyperon hypersonic missiles, it would allow china to strike the u.s. without warning. i believe the even bigger alarm is continued complacency about china, complacency that we still
see far too much in the national security establishment here in america. we see this when china probes and menaces our democratic ally, taiwan, and the administration responds with silence or with presidential talk about a so-called taiwan agreement that doesn't exist. xi jinping has made clear that the chinese communist party has a plan for china to dominate the world, diplomatically, technologically, and militarily. xi jinping and the chinese community party want to achieve dominance and displace the united states in 2045, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the people's republic of china and they're certainly locking in every advantage they can along way. president trump awakened our nation to the chinese threat and the biden administration has inherited a very strong chinese strategy, one i helped craft and implement when i served as u.s. ambassador to japan. as part of the china strategy the trump administration also rightly determined that china is
engaged in genocide, in crimes against humanity with the uighur population and other muslims that live in the province. i'm worried that the biden administration will try to strike some grand bargain with china that might effectively erase the strong position we have with china today. such a naive deal could significantly weaken our energy independence. meanwhile china will continue to burn more coal and emit more greenhouse gases than all of the developed world combined with a pledge to reduce carbon footprint at some undetermined time in the future. ambassador burns, let's focus on china's immediate threat with respect to taiwan. it's clear that the chinese communist party is stepping up its military posture in the taiwan strait. the world is alarmed. and taiwan could be the first domino to fall in the indo-pacific. ambassador, what's your view on the taiwan issue and should the
united states revisit the issue of strategic ambiguity with respect to taiwan? >> senator, thank you, and thank you for your service as a u.s. ambassador to japan. i agree with you that china is our strongest, i would say most dangerous competitor in the world. president biden has followed a very tough-minded policy against china. i counted up, yesterday, at least 15 sanctions or executive orders limiting the ability of the chinese government to be influential around the world or in our own society. so i think it's been under president obama, president trump, and now president biden, an increasing emphasis on what we need to do to limit china and president biden's policies are very tough and very strong. on taiwan, we need to do multiple things. we need to strengthen our commitment to taiwan's security under the taiwan relations act. the biden administration proposed the sale of a-109/a-6
howitzers. there's stable leverage in the taiwan relations act available to the executive and legislative branches to continue to provide arms sales for defensive purposes, defense articles and services to taiwan. and maybe the most important thing we can do is maintain a strong american military deterrence in the indo-pacific. you were part of that as ambassador. our alliance with japan, our alliance with the republic of korea, our alliance with australia. the presence of our navy and air force at anderson air force base in guam. our rotational deployments. of course our deployments through the international waters of the south china sea. this is all-encompassing strategy designed to support our side and to strengthen the ability of taiwan to defend itself. >> i am interested still, though, in your view on whether
we should revisit our posture of strategic ambiguity, how we talk about the taiwan situation. >> this is an important question. my own view is that we're better off and will be more effective in staying with the one china policy of the last four decades. we recognize the people's republic of china as the sole legal government of china. and yet we have unofficial relations with taiwan and we have, under the taiwan relations act, the ability, in fact the imperative, of helping taiwan to defend itself. every president, republican and democrat, has followed that policy. in the face of the chinese buildup, and they're more aggressive now, that is the best way for us to strengthen the ability of taiwan to defend itself. >> my time has come to a close. thank you, mr. chairman. >> absolutely, ambassador burns, i'm sitting in while senator menendez votes and it's my turn in the order, so congratulations
to you, you're a wonderful public servant. i want to ask you a couple of questions about assumptions. so pre-2000, china had to sort of make a case to the united states every year to be granted most favored nation status. and it was an annual decision that the president would make. and china, that annual decision provided a forum for discussions about human rights issues and such. in 2000, congress granted china permanent normal trade relations status which paved their path to becoming a member of the wto. so we no longer have that annual determination and opportunity. and i think possibly we've lost some focus on some of the human rights and other issues for that reason. the decision was made because of a belief that if china was part of the wto, they would conform themselves to global trade rules. and i think everyone, whatever
their thought at the time, would say that china's behavior has been disappointing, that they haven't done what we hoped. i'm curious, do you think that was a mistake, for us to grant china legal permanent trade relations in 2000? >> thank you, senator kaine. i was not involved in u.s./china relations at that time. i was focused on greece and nato in those years. and of course it's always perilous to be a monday morning quarterback and sit in judgment of people i really admire. but personally, the assumptions that many made about china in those years turned out not to be accurate. china took advantage of its presence in the wto as a so-called developing country. china then didn't meet its obligations under the wto. and who suffered? american workers and american businesses. and you and i have met with a
lot of american businesses who had their ip ripped off by the chinese and made their business decisions very difficult. so i do think at this point, in 2021, i hope there will be bipartisan support for a very aggressive american policy to hold china to account. and if you read ambassador tie's speech of 2 1/2 weeks ago, the u.s. trade rep, she was very clear about her determination on behalf of the president to protect american workers and protect american businesses. and i think that has to be the focus of our efforts right now. >> thank you for that answer. some of my republican colleagues actually have filed a bill to undo the legal permanent trade relations that we accorded china 21 years ago. it might be hard to get the genie back in the bottle because supply chains and others have sort of reformed and recombined to reflect the new reality. but i think with the best of
intentions, there were a lot of optimism and hopes about china. members of both parties, presidents of both parties have proved to be wrong, and we have to be willing, as with the competitive act we just passed, to lean forward in the relationship. here is another assumption, and you touched on it in your discussion. the united states has a wonderful network of allies, but china really doesn't. china really doesn't. and we see this again and again. i think it's a statement that is actually true. but here is something i worry about. when i say china and russia doing joint naval exercises in the straits of japan as they recently did or other joint military exercises, they've done joint military exercises with iran in the persian gulf, i start to worry a little bit about an assumption that we've long made in national security, thinking that china and russia will never be too cooperative. they seem to be combining
frequently now. they are very different countries, but they both are authoritarian nations that don't respect democratic norms and institutions and actually believe democracy is a dying governmental model. how worried should the united states be about increasing cooperation about china and russia, especially on military matters? >> it's a very -- it's a reality. and i think a lot of us, maybe 10, 20 years ago, would not have anticipated that china and russia would begin to work together strategically. but they are. all the more reason why we need to deepen our own alliances and partnerships. i would say this, senator. and this is just speculative. i spent five years of my career at the white house on soviet and russian affairs. my numbers may be a little off, but i think there are 6 or 7 russians living east of the ural mountains, in that vast spans, and there are 3 or 4 million chinese living below them.
the russians are going to have to worry long term about economic domination of russia by china. and in response to what senator risch asked me, the russians ought to be worried about a chinese nuclear weapons buildup in the western part of china, about the hypersonic missile that senator hagerty -- test that senator hagerty just raised. and the fact that china is completely unconstrained. of the five permanent nuclear powers of the security council, it's the only one that refuses to be part of any arms control regime. we've been part of one for 60 years, since the test ban treaty of 1963. and so obviously that's got to be a focus for all of us, i would say including the russians, going forward. >> thank you. i'm over my time. i believe senator young by webex is next up. >> yes, senator kaine, chairman, thank you so much. yes, mr. burns -- i'm sorry, i
just hopped on, ambassador, but congratulations on your nomination, and thank you for your years of distinguished service. this week we've seen public reporting suggesting that china successfully tested a nuclear capable hypersonic missile. earlier this summer we saw additional reporting indicating that china had dramatically increased the size and scope of its nuclear arsenal. these reports have evoked fears of a new cold war with china. these nuclear weapons concerns come amid rapidly escalating tensions over taiwan. our strategic competition of course is nothing new. but i'm concerned with the growing risks of miscommunication or misinterpretation of our actions. in your view, sir, what's motivating these sorts of provocative actions from beijing? >> senator young, thank you, and thank you for your leadership on the strategic innovation bill
that is so important to the future of our country. i think you're right to focus on this issue. part of what we will need to do in the u.s./china relationship is mitigate the possibility of an accidental conflict and to maintain the peace between our two countries and in the region. and that will require our military leadership, the civilian leadership of the defense department, the state department, and the white house to have effective communication channels into the chinese leadership. and of course every administration has wanted to do this and has worked on it. but we need to work on it very intensively, because we don't want to be sleep walkers into a conflict with china. i will work with my colleagues in the u.s. government to make
sure we have those effective communications channels with the chinese leadership. finally, senator, i'll just say to you, i completely agree with you, we should all be concerned by the nuclear buildup in china. and that has to be a concern for allied nations as well as the united states. >> well, thank you. i wish you luck. if there's any way congress can be constructive in helping open up those channels of communication, whether it's through visits to the country, expressing our collective desire to make sure that we're talking, we avoid any scenarios that our leadership and our peoples would regret, i am -- enlist me in the cause, sir. >> thank you. >> my state of indiana, ambassador, is the most
manufacturing-intensive state in the united states. and our businesses rely on a diversified supply chain and market access. over the years, china has used localization requirements, intellectual property theft, enforced transfer of data, to hamstring our enterprises that are depend on technology. i firmly believe the united states should advocate for integrity in digital trade provisions of our trade agreements. this includes holding bad actors accountable, especially communist china. i'm currently working on a resolution to solidify the u.s. commitment to high standard digital trade principles. if confirmed, how will you address continued action by china that purposefully causes harm to american businesses, knowing that you'll need to coordinate with ambassador tie on this? >> senator, thank you. and in my opening statement i focused on this issue of trade
because of the enormous damage to your state and every other state, to our workers and to our businesses. this is a high priority for the biden administration and obviously if confirmed i'll be working very intensively on this issue with the white house, with the commerce department, the treasury department, and of course principally with ambassador tie and her colleagues. >> ambassador, accept my apologies if you discussed this in your opening statement. could you just explain why actions like ip theft and data localization requirements are issues of national security, not just economic issues? >> in thinking about this job, i've been consulting with a lot of experts on china across the country. and it's really been interesting to hear. i think the great majority of them would say that the focal point, the most important part of our competition with china
will be on economics and technology in the future. we're going to have a military competition for power, which we had with the soviets in the old cold war. what distinguishes our competition with china, which makes it unlike the old cold war, is the fact that they seek dominance on technology, on ai, machine learning, quantum sciences, biotechnology. they seek to militarize those technologies. that may be the central focus of the competition. so therefore we in the executive branch and you in congress need to unite on a bipartisan basis and be fundamentally focused on it. >> thank you. and i would say, ambassador, thank you for bringing up my legislation. that is the purpose, to address this threat. technology threat, economic threat, that china poses to us. the u.s. innovation and competition act. i hope that broadly bipartisan
legislation passes before year's end. thank you so much, sir. >> thank you for your leadership. >> senator van hollen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and congratulations, mr. ambassador, thank you for your long service to this country and to your family. just picking up on some of the points senator young made, and i was pleased to hear you mention in your opening remarks the issue of china's systematic theft of intellectual property. that's why senator sasse and i teamed up and passed a bipartisan bill here in the senate called protecting american intellectual property act. it's actually incorporated in the u.s. innovation and competition act which, as you know, passed the senate and is pending in the house. and the whole idea is that u.s. companies that are victimized by intellectual property theft don't have just sole recourse in
the united states courts. and so in those situations where we're not talking about garden variety trademark violations but in fact systematic theft of cutting edge technologies, the us government would weigh in and be authorized to impose economic sanctions and penalties. this was a measure supported by the previous administration. i think also by the current administration. i want to flag that, because i look forward to working with you as we get that through the congressional process, because there has to be a price to pay. and when you're talking about the chinese government weighing in and being part of this theft, you can't leave it simply to the court system to defend american companies. similarly, i believe china has got to be paying a higher price for its malign actions and its
violation of international agreements. and we've seen a gross violation of those agreements in the case of hong kong, where china has cracked down on democracy. senator toomey and i passed legislation last year called the hong kong autonomy act. it's part of the law now. this administration has used it to apply sanctions to 24 individuals who are complicit in cracking down on democracy in hong kong. we would like to see them identify some of the banks and financial institutions that are aiding and abetting that activity because the sanctions also apply to them. but my broader question here relates to how we raise the price china has got to pay for these malign actions. yes, we've got to make sure we strengthen our own position, both at home and around the world, certainly with our allies, certainly provide taiwan with more of the means to defend
itself. but how can we raise the cost to china of the kind of actions they've taken in hong kong? do you agree they've felt the pain of international response, for example, in hong kong? is there more we can be doing? >> senator, thank you very much, and thank you for authoring that legislation. i do think it was particularly effective to sanction specific individuals in hong kong who are responsible for the repression of the people of hong kong. and that's similar to the biden administration's sanctions on those individuals who did the same. i do think we are stronger if we can create global alliances on all of these issues, so encouraging the european union to be with us not just in condemning human rights violations but sanctioning. i think hong kong is particular
important. i mentioned earlier in the testimony, i was with secretary albright in hong kong on the day of the hanover, june 30, 1997, and all of us with secretary albright remember the specific commitments china has made and it's reneged on all of them. this is not just a u.s. concern. it has to be a global concern. and i do think one of the changes president biden has brought to our strategic policy towards china is to emphasize our allies and partners on this issue as well as the others that we've been talking about. >> i appreciate that. i think you have to have that multiplier effect in order to make these sanctions ultimately effective, if not in reversing the actions that china has taken, letting them know that they will pay a higher price for similar actions going forward. just in conclusion, you're obviously going to be our ambassador to china, and talking about these important issues between our two countries. but how important is it that we
strengthen ourselves here at home, both in terms of modernizing our infrastructure and trying to address the deep polarization we face in this country? >> it may be the most important thing we can do, is to invest in our technological future, as the senate is doing with your strategic innovation bill, which i very strongly -- that the administration very strongly supported and i do too. and it's to prepare ourselves to strengthen -- to have a clean energy future, strengthen our technology base, be funding, i would hope, our universities and research institutions because that's where the cutting edge technology is happening. supporting our businesses, because they're the ones who make america powerful economically in large part. so that strategy is probably the most important thing we can do to stand up to the china challenge over the next 20 to 30 years. i do think this is going to be a long term challenge. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator rounds.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador burns, thank you for the time you spent with us last evening. it is appreciated. and i most certainly enjoyed the conversation. as you know, i sit on the senate armed services committee and its strategic forces subcommittee. i would be very interested in your thoughts on china's nuclear stockpile and its expanding capabilities, specifically with regard to our challenge right now here within the discussions going on that some of our members think it's okay if we were to perhaps not modernize our own triad. in fact they question whether anybody really cares whether we have a triad or not. china, and this is at an unclassified level, they've been increasing their stockpile. some folks don't think that we need to be improving and upgrading and modernizing our own nuclear triad.
i think china is aggressively growing their own, and i think this is a critical part of their foreign policy strategy. and i think it's one way in which the prc, in terms of their diplomatic efforts, uses it as a hammer when they deal with other countries. could you share a little bit about how you see that impacting your ability to negotiate with the prc once you are there? >> senator, thank you. and thank you for the conversation we had in your office last evening. as i explained you to, one of the curiosities of coming up for confirmation as a private citizen, quite properly i don't have access to classified information. so in this realm, and senator hagerty asked me this as well, i'm a little limited. but i will say, based on the press reports, we should all be concerned by the buildup of china's nuclear forces in the western part of china. and then many members have asked
me about these press reports of these novel delivery systems, these hypersonic systems. what i think has to bother all of us is the attitude of the chinese government. they don't believe they should be constrained in any way, shape, or form by arms control. the united states submits to that. russia submits to that. at least did in the past. our other nuclear allies, the united kingdom and france, do. i think it's going to be very important. i know the trump administration made an effort to do this and was right to do it, to push the china to think about their obligations. and i think it's very important that we do that on a bipartisan basis. but certainly these are troubling developments. i said earlier, senator, the chinese have been saying for decades that they would like to have a minimum nuclear deterrence. and they seem to be quite rapidly moving away from that older policy of the chinese government.
>> thank you. let me just continue down that line a little bit. it's more than simply nuclear development. there's also the issue of artificial intelligence. they will be a key player with regard to the deployment of artificial intelligence not just in regard to national defense issues, but in all areas of technology. we've got before us the opportunity, and i think the national security commission on artificial intelligence made major requests to congress to fund artificial intelligence activity and opportunities, not real expensive, but clearly something that it's not just the united states but china is working on. could you talk about the need for the united states to continue to take a very active role in the most technologically advanced fields including artificial intelligence, in order to maintain our leadership
role, not just with regard to defense but with regard to trade as well? >> thank you, senator. two years ago i organized a meeting of the bipartisan aspen strategy group. i'm the director of the group. we focused over three days on this issue. we had some of the best experts from the u.s. government and the private sector, the tech companies, come and talk to us. and they identified the same concern that you have. that china will be competing with us for commercial superiority in ai and machine learning. and this is their stated 2025 policy, in quantum sciences, in biotechnology. they're obviously going to try to militarize those technologies. and the united states cannot let ourselves be in an inferior position and have the chinese leapfrog over us on these technologies five or ten or 30 years from now. so i think i agree wholeheartedly with you, we need to make strategic investments. and the senate is doing that,
and we need to continue doing that. and the strength of the american economy, innovation, high tech, biotech. because it's likely to be the central arena of competition between us, with china. and if i am confirmed, it will be a central focus. it already is, of the biden administration, but i'll be very focused on it. >> thank you, sir. i look forward to supporting your nomination. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator merkley. >> thank you very much, ambassador, for service over a long career. i wanted to start with recognizing, you've noted that china is not an olympian power. that just catches my attention because the olympics in china are just four months away in february. and as we had discussed in my office, i am very concerned about the fact that the international olympic committee has placed the olympics in a nation that is conducting genocide against its own people.
and my preference would certainly have been for the olympic committee to say china had failed to follow its 2015 promises on human rights and that the olympics were to be moved. that's not going to happen. the ioc has made that very clear. however, there are things that can be done to keep china from using the olympics to gloss over its horrific human rights activities. for example, a diplomatic boycott. another example would be fiercely defending the right of athletes to express themselves on what's going on in china while they're in china performing. what do you think is -- what would you recommend to essentially trying not to have china be able to use the olympics as a way to create a triple facade over their
horrific activities against minorities in their own country? >> senator, thank you. and i use the term "olympian" not to refer, as you know, to the olympics, but just to suggest that, if you think about ancient greece, china is not all-powerful. >> understood. >> on the question of the olympic games, the winter games to be held in beijing, it looks like it's going to be the most unusual games ever. it looks like, if you look at the rules and regulations of the chinese authorities worked out with the international olympic committee, there will be nobody there from around the world, because the precautionary measures that people are being asked to take, obviously given a pandemic, will make it almost impossible for spectators from japan or the united states to be there, so i think you'll largely have a chinese audience.
i think you're right, and i enjoyed our conversations about this three days ago, we obviously want to make sure if the american athletes, if they're there, and other athletes, are able to speak their minds, are able to have access to the media to say what they wish to say, because they come from democratic countries. and i hope and trust that the international olympic committee will make that possible. >> thank you, ambassador. and i think fierce advocacy will be very valuable, and in coordination with other nations. olympic committee members say it's all about the athletes so we don't really want to bring up, quote, political issues like human rights. but what they've done is forced the athletes to become unwilling or unwitting participants in this -- well, this effort to put
a very bright and happy face on china at the same time there are such tragic and horrific practices. one of the biggest factors is the treatment of the uighurs, and essentially engaging millions in slavery, many high tech practices, forced sterilization, forced birth control, forced labor that is slave labor, and in hong kong, where they've stripped the political rights. the congressional executive commission on china held a hearing in which we heard advocate after advocate say this is a moment for the united states to grant p2 status to those who are trying -- who are particularly vulnerable in these two situations, both in hong kong and, if you will, among
individuals still have to establish their vulnerability and that it's the right fit. is p2 status for those who are vulnerable in hong kong and in the province something that you would support? >> senator, thank you. what i'd like to do is check with the state department. because i'm unsure the answer to your question, and come back to you with an answer. perhaps we can do that in written form or we can meet and talk about it. i do know president biden has allowed hong kong residents to stay in the united states on a lengthier basis than they normally would because of the tear of persecution, should they go back, given what's happened in hong kong. i'm not sure what other measures they are taking or planning but i'm happy to take that.
>> has been granted for those in hong kong, already in the country. it has not been granted to wiggers. we have wiggers who have been here for four years and their families have lost any formal status in our country. and they're awaiting action. i'll just close with the comment, if the chair feels it's time to respond, fine but i'm over. i would love to see a champions in our diplomatic team push for an official determination of genocide in myanmar. because the actions against rohingya fully justify it. horrific activities. the hesitation among some in the state department has been to be critical because there is a fledgeling democracy.
except there's no longer a fledgeling democracy because the military conducted a military coup and put aung san suu kyi under arrest. when we fail to call out genocide in myanmar, it undermines the legitimacy of the strength of our position on genocide elsewhere, including in shin dong province. i'm calling for consistency in calling out horrific human practices when they occur. >> thank you very much. senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador burns, welcome. i've long believed china poses the single greatest geopolitical threat for the united states for the next century. there are many domains on which we're standing up to china. one of the most important concerns taiwan. and i worry that the threat to our taiwan ease allies is
becoming acute. chinese filled ships with dozens of military tanks and practiced in preparation for, quote, future battlefields. earlier in the month, 149 chinese aircraft made incursions into taiwan's air defense zone over the span of just four days. u.s. commanders have publicly assessed that an invasion of taiwan is, quote, much closer to us than most think. meanwhile, taiwan has been asking the united states to expedite the delivery of several squadrons of f 16. number one, how do you see the chinese threat to taiwan and what should we be doing to deter that threat? senator, thank you.
it's a growing chinese threat to taiwan. attempts to bully and intimidate and send 139 aircraft into the air defense zone of taiwan. and you combine that with the statements of the chinese leadership, which are aggressive and clear. we obviously have a self interest and under the taiwan relations act, an obligation and commitment to help deepen our involvement in helping taiwan to defend itself and congress and the executive branch. and we talked about this when we met in your office, have that authority and have that responsibility on the f 16 issue, the biden administration has come forward withed a vanszed howitzer sail of $750 million. i think a lot of experts believe taiwan needs a greater asymmetric defense capacity. needs to spend money in that to, as you say, repel a threat of an
amphibious or airborne invasion, whatever the chinese are thinking of. and it talks about the united states needing to make clear that its deterrent is in place, the power of our military in the indo-pacific. everyone here ought to be more concerned. because the chinese are clearly on a different path than they were 30 or 20 years ago. >> i think one of the most important steps we can and should take to stand with taiwan is help prepare and equip them to defend themselves and to defend themselves effectively against a serious military incursion from china. i'm intending to introduce legislation, the taiwan arms act. that raises taiwan's status for arm sales to that of our closest allies and partners. it is important and i look
forward to working with my colleagues to see that it expeditiously becomes law. let me turn to another aspect. one part of the solution to insuring the chinese allies have what they need to defend themselves, include arm sales, the taiwan arms act. another component derives from our current policy of strategic ambiguity. towards taiwan and towards taiwan stat. and i'm concerned that long-standing policy and it's a policy that exists across democrat and republican administrations. i'm concerned that it is undermining our efforts to bolster taiwan. i have long advocated there is great virtue to clarity. in foreign policy. the state department is
notorious for embracing lack of clarity. and strategic ambiguity seems to be one of the favorite tools of foggy bottom. in the context of china and taiwan, the chinese communist party, i believe, interprets ambiguity as weakness and a signal we're not committed to taiwan's security. how do you assess our current efforts to deter china and what do you think the role that strategic ambiguity has in the current efforts? >> thank you, senator. my own view and this is the view, of course, and more importantly of the biden administration. the smartest and effective way for us to help deter aggressive actions by taiwan across the taiwan straight will be to stay with the policy that's been in place. and that's the taiwan relations act, the three joint statements
of 1972, 1979, and 1982 and president reagan's six assurances of 1982. they're time tested. they allow under the taiwan relations act, the executive and congress too, do more, if you choose to do more. if both branchs choose to do more to help taiwan defend itself. clearly it is a different situations. you're right about that. but this is a policy that can succeed if we execute it consistently and with some strength. and as i said before, and i don't mean to repeat myself but maybe the most important thing we can do is maintain american military position in japan and the republic of korea and the first island chain and to guam. and to be an effective deterrent to keep the peace. that's part of the taiwan act that japan has a role, united states has a role. i think under the umbrella a of
a one-china's policy, where we recognized the people's republic of china to be the sole legal entity. and we have an unofficial relationship with taiwan and we can exercise responsibilities within that context. i think that's the smartest way. to deter the chinese from trying to exercise force as opposed to keeping the peace and having a more respect, long-term conversation with taiwan. >> thank you very much. thank you, ambassador, for your answers to the questions that have been posed. the record for this particular part of the hearing will remain open until the close of business on thursday, october 21st. please insure that questions for the record are submitted no later than thursday. i would ask nat you answer them
as expeditiously and soon as possible so we can schedule your nomination for a business meeting. with that and the thanks of the committee, you're excused at this time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we have two nominations on the next panel. and we will ask those nominees to come forward. >> yep. thank you. >> no, that goes on your side.
>> all right. we ask them to take their seats. mr. jonathan caplan to ambassador to japan. i understand senator durbin and also senator haggardy will be introducing mayor emmanuel and senator hickenlooper will introduce mr. caplan. i see senator durbin is here with us. let me turn to senator durbin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and ranking member roche. it's an honor to have the opportunity to share a few words for rahm emanuel to be the next ambassador to japan. we had a chance to speak to the new iaea director. mr. grossy. we talked about, not only iran's
future in nuclear program but also north korea. it reminded me that japan, one of our most important allies in asia, is at the forefront of several key national security priorities for our nation. notably the nuclear threat on and from the korean peninsula. chinese actions in the south china sea and regional economic pressure. the undermining of hong kong's democracy and threats against taiwan. with the dawn of the aukus pact, they've signalled -- we need to be sure our allies and friends and partners, like japan, have a clear understanding of our goals. that's why the appointment of a new ambassador to japan is timely and critical. rahm emanuel is the right person for that responsibility. i've known him more than 30 years. perhaps his wife, amy, is the
only person in the room who's known him longer. i've worked with him in many capacities. work as staff leader in the clinton white house, as a member of the illinois congressional delegation. when he became chief of staff to president obama and when he was mayor of the city of chicago. i can tell you what is obvious. he is bright, energetic and focussed. any mayor who can cobble together a budget in the chicago city counsel is ready for major league diplomacy. he's repeatedly shown he can build winning coalitions at every level. and he has delivered with a legacy that we still enjoy in the city of chicago and state of illinois. we can still see his good work today in the chicago public school system, transportation modernization and in the game-changing projects, like the river walk in the city of chicago. i understand senator haggardy is going to introduce rahm.
i thank him for that and he previously served as ambas deer and knows the challenges all too well. his lifetime of public service has prepared him to speak on the global stage. i hope you'll look -- >> senator hickenlooper. >> thank you, chair. and ranking member, appreciate your time and effort on this committee. i'm honored to join you today to introduce jonathan caplan, president biden's nominee for u.s. ambassador to the republic of singapore. mr. caplan, in politics, as you know you get to meet remarkable people. he's perhaps the most remarkable person i know.
before i go into some of the accolades on mr. caplan. singapore's a crucial partner in an important region. asia's largest recipient of u.s. foreign direct investment. a close ally and cooperates on security and defense. there's a truly dynamic trade relationship and they share our commitment to the rule of law. and it's a part of the world that has an enduring sense of possibility. both our countries are diverse and multicultural hubs of inovagsz. both grappling with the looming threat of climate change and the rise in china. so much to learn from one another. it's essential to have someone of great quality to steer this partnership at such a sensitive moment. that leader we have in jonathan caplan, who shares that enduring
sense of possibility. he is a tested entrepreneur, who understands the importance of bringing people together to achieve common goals to solve problems in the most effective and efficient ways possible . as the chair of education super highway, dedicated to bridging the digital divide in schools. john and his team built a bipartisan movement to bring high speed internet to over 99% of american school children. he worked with governors, like me, in 2016, partnered with education super highway on kids link colorado. and provided broad band to kids across the state. it was a huge success and investments proved critical, when learning online during covid. john has the mindset of an
inventor and innovator. as an inventor, he has the pattens to prove it. he never accepts things as they have been. he's envisioning how they can be better and bringing people together to create that future. maybe you'll remember the flip phone video, which he was behind and responsible for. his numerous business ventures have transformed how we use, not just technology but how we record video. how we play online games and even how you get your lunch to go. he has extensive experience in east asian theater. he's travelled to over 75 countries around the world. he's worked especially closely with government officials in china, japan and south korea. he has exactly the right perspective and exactly the right experience to represent
the united states and singapore. they embody the same commitment to innovation and the same enduring sense of possibility. at this vitally important time, it's been now almost four years since this post was last filled. it is critical we act swiftly to confirm a u.s. ambassador to singapore. and hopefully with a large majority, which sends a message in and of itself. i support john's nomination and hope this nominee will do the same. >> i see senator haggardy has joined us as well. >> thank you, very much, chairman menedez. i thank you for holding this hearing. i want to thank you for allowing me to introduce the person i think will be the next u.s. ambassador to japan. i have served as the most recent ambassador to japan.
and representing one's own country is one of the greatest honors in the world. it really brings home the importance of the exceptional nation the united states is and it's an exceptional honor being bestowed on those of you that will serve as ambassador and an incredible honor that my family and i cherish. today i'm here as a member of the committee that over saw my nomination. i'm over here in a different seat to introduced the nominee to be our next ambassador to japan. while our political backgrounds couldn't be more different, i'm sure there are many issues upon which we strongly disagree. but through recent discussions, it's become clear that mayor emmanuel showed my unwavering conviction that it's the corner stone of the peace and prosperity of the entire
indo-pacific region and it's become more dangerous day by day and that makes the appointment all the more important for the united states. this is a position that's remained vacant too long. when i served in tokyo, my ability to directly engage in person with senior japanese government officials, with business leaders and most importantly, the japanese people, help bring strategic relationship with japan to new heights. during my tenure, tensions were remarkably high with north korea launching multiple ballistic missiles over japan. and communist china threatening the position in the east china sea. the japanese people and the world needed to hear directly from the u.s. ambassador when those threats occurred. and they did. as the global security focus continues to shift towards the indo-pacific to counter russia's
aggression and predatory actions of communist china, u.s./japan alliance must remain the corner stone of peace, prosperity and stability in the region. the u.s. ambassador will need to play a critical role in advancing the relationship. today we have a great threat from communist china towards our mutual friend, taiwan. this require as strong and unified response from both u.s. and japan. mayor emmanuel understands this critical circumstance. and has assured me he'll do everything in the immense power to stand strong for taiwan's freedom for their democratic rule. our next ambassador to japan must be prepared to continue a strong and clear eyed stance for america's interest in the in do-pacific. while continuing to support and strengthen our military presence in japan.
this is the largest compliment of forces stationed anywhere in the world. mayor emmanuel has committed to me that he will be that ambassador. as a former ambassador, i know sometimes challenges occur from within the host nation. japan has an out dated judicial system that places detonation at a constant competitive disadvantage. we have american citizens. today a tennessee citizen, who are caught in the japanese judicial system. suffering from barbaric treatment in the so-called hostile justice system of japan. it's cruel, inhumane and unjust. mayor has assured me he will make addressing the sad and difficult situation a top priority if confirmed. this matters a great deal to me and to the people of tennessee. we must stand for the human rights of human citizens and when they're unjustly held, they
must be returned home. the region and the world will need to hear that the commitment of the united states to defend japan remains ironclad and unwavering. that was my message as ambassador and it's a message i'm confident mayor emmanuel will deliver if confirmed. while the united states will remain the predominant global power for the foreseeable future, the challenges will require our friends to stand shoaleder to shoulder with us especially japan. as i mentioned we've had many long and productive conversations about this position. both the challenges and expectations. i welcome him today. and i intend to provide him with bipartisan support that i was fortunate enough to receive during my u.s. is senate conformation. a critical post like this deserves no less from a qualified and capable nominee.
i once again congratulate mayor emmanuel and his family. i welcome them here and asbegin remarks, i hope this committee takes into consideration the threat to our national security if this post were to remain empty any longer. >> thank you for your service to our nation as former ambassador to japan and we appreciate that service and your insights on this committee and we appreciate you lending a bipartisan vote to mayor emmanuel's nomination. let's turn to the nominees. mayor emmanuel, good to see you again. we welcome you and your family. i want to note your son, zack is with us, who's a u.s. naval officer and we appreciate his service to our country. i believe you have the necessary knowledge and experience to represent us well in jaw. . japan. as you know it's one of the four
most important allies in the world. for over 70 years the u.s./japan partnership has played a vital role in insuring peace, stubltd stability and economic cooperation. if confirmed, i trust that mayor's vast experience in public service and the private selkter will serve him and our country well as he navigates the opportunities and complexities of the u.s./japan relationship and safeguarding our partnership, one grounded in common interests and values. i'll look forward to hearing from you how you plan to approach japan and the region as the type of ambassador you hope to be. as you are aware, today is also the anniversary of the murder of laquan mcdonald our heart goes out to their family and so many
other victims and their families as we make reforms for the black and brown communities that endure injustices even today. congratulations, mr. caplan, to your nomination and family as well. singapore is central to success in southeast asia and that's central to our success in indo-pacific. including through aukus and the quad, i believe more attention is needed in southeast asia, including on issues like regional trade and engagement and economic state craft. at the end of the day, how we integrate with the region's political economy is far more consequential than our military or security presence alone. and singapore is of course a key
regional trade and economic partner. i was encouraged by recent agreements with singapore to support common goals in addressing climate change. overall, i think we need to outreach to singapore and i trust you will be up to that task. i look forward to hearing your goals on how we deepen this diplomatic relationship even further. we recently had the singapore foreign minister here and he spoke about how he desires, he and singapore, desires to see our engagement. but when we have not had a confirmed ambassador in singapore for almost five years now, it's tough to have diplomatic engagement. which underscores the importance of getting you in place as soon as possible. with that, let me turn to the ranking member for his remarks. >> thank you, mr. chairman and
thank you, both of you to our nominees for your willingness to serve and your families as well. on the nomination of ambassador to japan, our alliance with japan is the bed rock to advance a free and open indo-pacific. it's become a critical example of how strong defense ties can bring about prosperity. as we look forward to working with the new japanese prime minister and his team, it's vital we strengthen this alliance in the face of growing regional threats. we've seen important steps, including the emphasis on cooperation with australia and india with the quad. and working together with other partners to finance the construction of a reliable and undersea cable connecting to the rest of the pacific as well as bring electricity to papa new guinea. this is for our cooperation in advanced technology, supply
chain diversification, global health and other critical areas. on the security front, we must maintain extended deterrents commitment. i'll say it again, any perceived weakening of our extended deterrent is a betrayal of our alliance in the endo-pacific including japan. to achieve this, japan must do its part and work with us on cyber security as committed during the biden sugot summit. however, certain parts of the state department that come up with reasons not to provide the capabilities are a major impediment on the issue. if confirmed, you are going to see the security environment we face first hand and i expect that you will counter instincts
and policies that would weaken our security ties with japan. we shouldn't tolerate those. on the nomination, mr. caplan, being ambassador to singapore. if confirmed, you'll be a steward and one of our closest partners in southeast asia. idahoans are proud to host and have for some time, singapore pilots and their families as they train in idaho. we should all support expanding our security cooperation with singapore, building on the memorandum of understanding renewed in 2019. on the economic side, i want to see how you'll apply your private sector background and including supply chain issues. on the defense side, singapore has made clear that while it seek as close relationship with the united states, it also seeks to maintain cooperation with
china, including to increased defense ties. and our next ambassador will work with undoing influence in the country. and along with the chairman, i want to underscore the meeting that we had that i think, was very significant and forward looking meeting we had with people from singapore. i look forward to hearing your thoughts on all of the issues with that. >> thank you, senator. we'll turn to our nominees. we ask you to summarize your statements at about five minutes. your full statements will be included without objection. and mayor emmanuel first. >> chairman, mendez and members of the committee, it's an honor to appear before you as president biden's nominee to serve as united states
ambassador to japan. i'm grateful to the consideration of this distinguished committee. there has been one constant in my life, amy, my wife of 27 years. six elections, two white house appointments and one nomination later, she is the reason i am here today. she is it the living proof that behind every successful person is an astonished spouse. together we've raised three great children. zack is serving as an intelligence officer in the united states navy. and lana joined the cable news network and leah is at princeton. vice president walter mondale, speaker tom foley, senor majority leaders, howard baker, and ambassador caroline kennedy. this long list also includes a member of this committee, senator haggardy.
i want to thank him for his words and comments earlier. if confirmed, i'll continue the kpampal he and his predecessors set. and ambassador's only as effective as foreign and service professional that surround him. they have advanced ideals without an ambassador for two years. i want to thank them for patriotism and professionalism to our mission in japan and i hope, soon, to serve our country along side them. we're at a critical juncture in our foreign policy in this region. what we build in partnership with japan over the next three years will determine america's posture for the next 30. the challenges and opportunities we face underscore the imperative of strengthening our bonds with our closest ally, japan. more than 60 years, the partnership with the united
states and japan has been the corner stone of peace and prosperity in a free and open indo-pacific. if confirmed, my top priority will be to deepen ties as we confront our common challenges. china aims to conquer through division. america's strategy is security through unity. that regional unity is built on the shoulders of the u.s./japan alliance. if confirmed, i will draw on my 2.5 decades of public service. i served on domestic and national security issues. as mayor, my administration made it a priority to bring the world to chicago and chicago to the world. during my tenure, chicago led the nation in corporate relocations and corporate investment and i over saw the most actival sister city
organizations in america. i signed the japan/chicago partnership agreement with the japanese ministry of foreign affairs and aid additional ministries marking the first time the japanese government entered into a formal agreement with a united states city. this laid the groundwork for deepening chicago and japan relationships, including corporate relocations by d and, d maury and san tory and many cultural exchange initiatives. two people inspired me to enter public service nearly 30 years ago. my mother marcia manual, has spent her entire life service as a nurse and congress on racial equality in chicago where she was instrumental in the integration of chicago's beaches and housing in the early 60s. this past october 3rd marked the two-year anniversary of my father's passing.
he immigrated to this country in 1953 with just $13 in his pocket after fighting in israel's war of independence. he campaigned for national health care during the early '60s and quit the ama over its opposition. he then sued the city of chicago for led and household paint and started a pediatric path based on one rule, no child was rejected because their parents could not pay. through his years, he built his practice into one of the largest in chicago. if confirmed, this will be the first professional pursuit i will undertake without my best friend, my father, by myself. side. my drive comes from my parents who always loved and supported me, even though i did not become a doctor like my older brother. in his wallet, my father carried a picture of the boat that brought him to the united states. that represents the beacon of
hope, possibility and endless opportunity this country is to the world. i wish he were here today. first, while my mother is proud, he would be shocked and amazed that i'm sitting here and second, it would reaffirm his belief in that special place we all love, america. and the final thing i have to say is the first thing i want to do, work closely with the committee and insure we work seamlessly across the aisle, the capitol and pacific to add vance america's interest in the vital indo-pacific region. if confirmed, i intend to work with you to promote economic prosperity, strengthen national security. under your leadership, mr. chairman, working with the ranking member, senatorer rigs, this committee has continued its
proud bipartisan tradition of putting country ahead of party. that is a mandate i am proud to share. >> mr. caplan. >> chairman mendez and ranking members of the committee, i'm proud and hawned -- honor be asked to serve the country. i'd like to thank president biden and blinken in their trust and confidence in me. and i'm grateful to share this day with my friends, family and especially my daughter, samantha. and finally, thank senator hickenlooper and to the hard working professionals at the state department and white house for their steadfast support of my nomination throughout this process. vice president harris noted during her august visit our
world is embarking on a new era. one with many new challenges and exciting new opportunities. our partnership with singapore is critically important to strengthen the relationship and defend positions in the indo pacific region. singapore diplomacy has fostered a strong friendship and a steadfast commitment to one another. the partnership is based on robust security and defense cooperation and strong people to people ties. our two countries are close partners in support of a rules-based economy and unwavering security throughout the region. mr. chairman and members of the committee, singapore is a vital economic partner to the united states. more than 5,400 u.s. companies are rer registered tin city state and they rovide responsible, sustainable investment for the region and directly support more than 215,000 american jobs here at home.
in 2003, the united states and singapore signed our first bilateral and goods and services agreement with any asian country. the yunls is the largest foreign investor in singapore, with more than 270 billion in directed investments. making singapore the largest recipient of u.s. investment in the indo-pacific. i plan to advance an economic agenda with a shared prosparity, further secure resiliency and access to supply and work closely with singapore to tackle the climate crisis. singapore is a critical partner in enabling strong u.s. security presence in the region. it's the largest purchaser of equipment and foreign military sales in the past decade.
the effort to purchase the aircraft, shows the close relationship between our air forces and exemplifies the security cooperation. the corner stone is the 1990 u.s. singapore memorandum of understanding, which governs presence in singapore and allows for the rotational deployment of both u.s. literal combat ships and navy pas. i look forward to strengthen urand promote peace and prosperity in the region. the united states and singapore have also benefitted from a strong law enforcement and security partnership. this strengthens the security of our citizens, companies and nations by combatting a difficult challenges of commercial crime, terrorism, cyber crime and elicit trade. personal relationships are the foundation of a strong and secure indo-pacific region.
u.s. singapore people-to-people ties are robust and they're active participants in the educational and exchange programs. prior to the pandemic, more than 4,000 singaporeans were in the united states and more than half of singapore's cabinet ministers have studied in the united states. including the current prime minister, who studied at harvard. they've also partnered through our third country traping program. for more than ten years, the program provided technical assistance and opportunities to over 1500 officials, drawing on the depth and breath of a singaporean friendship and expertise. if confirmed, i look forward to working closely with this committee to advance united states interest in singapore, to create a stronger set of relationships between our two
countries and help further a secure and rules-bafszed indo pacific overall. i thank you for the opportunity to appear and i look forward to any questions. >> thank you both. we'll start a round of five-minute questions before i recognize myself for that. let me ask some questions on behalf of the committee as a whole. they speak to the importance this committee places on responsiveness by all officials in the executive branch and that we expect and will be seeking from you. so, i'd ask of you to provide a yes or no answer to the following questions. do you agree to appear before this committee and make officers available when invited? >> yes. >> do you commit to keeping the committee fully and currently informed about the activities under your purview? >> yes. >> do you commit to engaging in meaningful consultation while
policies are being developed, not just notification after the fact? >> yes. >> and do you commit to promptly responding to requests from briefings and information requested by the committee and its designated staff? >> yes. >> let me start off. mayor emmanuel, i want to talk to you about our previous nominee. we were talking about china a lot. japan's going to play a big role in that. given the realities of our new era of strategic competition with china, what do you think the u.s./japan alliance needs to concentrate and act upon to be capable to meet the new and emergent regional challenges? in essence, how do we get them to be all in? >> thank you, mr. chairman, for the question.
as we discussed yesterday, i think the world has learned a lot in covid. we exposed some of our vulnerabilities and i think china's been exposed for their veinality. you can ask that of india, people leaving hong kong and what's happened to australia in that area. and you can also see it by how philippines have reacted to what's happening to their fish fleet and on their border. the region is desperate for america's leadership. and that was seen recently with august. the entire strategy in the region, when we repeat the words indo-pacific, that was an actechtural frame by former prime minister, abe and we've all adopted it, which means our ally sees the vision as one we've adopted and will advance. every effort we make, not just
militarily and strategically, also with cultural and political, is built on the shoulders of a u.s./japan relationship. to me, the way we confront china, their entire strategy is to make sure all -- it's a one-way road to beijing's benefit. they're desperate for america all in and that's true of japan, our longest ally in the region. we must make that a corner stone of both military efforts, strategic efforts. and i would conclude the recent prime minister gave a speech and said they're going to raise their budget in defense spending above 1%, which has been the norm. that means for the first time -- i know senator haggardy must
have lobbied on that constantly. making sure it's part of the blueprint because i think, not only in the region but at this friendship and partnership, it's at an inflection point. what we do over the next three years will determine our presence, our vision for the next 30 in the region. >> let me turn to japan, in terms of being one of the leaders in technology. how do we facilitate greater cooperation between tech and innovation and how do we take better steps to integrate that more broadly? >> mr. chairman, i see this as a unique opportunity. for whether it's on intellectual property, infrastructure investment, supply chain. we have a partner that is begging for america's continued
investment. when australia, by way of example, bet long on the united states, china's reaction was to say we want to end tpp. that was an attempt to say we're going to be the domnnlt player. everything we do have to send one message, one signal. it's a good bet to bet long on the united states. and japan has a huge partnership with us in the pharmaceutical spaces, the ip in general. infrastructure, supply chain. and you can see that by president biden. two meetings they've had and discussions with the japanese prime minister. the issue is supply chain. the issue with microchips is key to that strategy. i think japan is ready for the next stage in u.s. japan relationships. and as we make these investments, it's an opportunity
to actually start to -- as i would say -- tighten the economic integration of the largest and third largest economy. when those two are tight, it's a very strong force. >> lastly, as i noted earlier, i'd like to give you an opportunity to address the committee concerning laquan mcdonald. >> thank you, mr. chairman and for the opportunity to address the question. seven years ago a young man had his life taken on the streets of the city of chicago. he had all the promise ahead of him and a police officer took his life, killed him. i said then i'm the mayor and i'm responsible and accountable for fixing this so this never happens again. and to be honest, there's not a
day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years i haven't thought about this and thought about the what ifs and the changes and what could have been. and i think we all know that, over the last ten years, there's not a city in this country regardless of size, that hasn't dealt with the gulf between police activities and the oversight and accountability necessary. in chicago's no different. and soon as events have happened, if the oversight authority is on the scene. shortly after that, the state's attorney opened an investigation and not too far from that the fbi and u.s. attorney opened an investigation. flrls and you have three investigations hapenning simultaneously of the events happening there. as you know, there's a long-standing protocol and
practice that nothing's released in the middle of an investigation for fear of prejudice a witness or endangers prosecution. that was the practice, not just in chicago but across the country. and as recently as may 2nd of this year, the "the new york times" wrote a story saying -- reported a story saying there's no uniform standard or policy for the releasing of police video. it doesn't exist today and didn't in 2014 or 2015, except for the policy about the integrity of an investigation. you don't want to prejudice a witness because of premature release of video or any prima facia evidence. that runs head long into another important value and that is the
deep suspicion, distrust, and skepticism that exists in the community about the authorities investigating the authorities and getting to the bottom of what happened. and the longer an investigation goes on, the greater the distrust and the greater the skepticism about what's really happening and that's it's not about finding out what is happening but it's a white wash and cover up. you have a tension to conflict between the integrity of an investigation so you don't harm it, and the deep, well-deserved and well-earned distrust by the community in the authorities. now, i see in that, and this is my view, that the last person you want to make a unilateral
decision about the release of a video while the fbi and u.s. attorney and states attorney and are investigating is a politician. it should be made by professionals. the moment a politician unilaterally makes a decision in the middle of an investigation, you've pliticized that investigation and more importantly, may have endangered the prosecution in bringing someone to justice. second, i would say in the first term of my tenure, i made a number of changes that dealt with oversight accountability. and it is clear to me those changes were inadequate to the level of distrust and they were on the best, marginal. i thought i was addressing the issue and i clearly missed the level of distrust and skepticism that existed. and that's on me.
in addition, i would say third, the point of afterwards, there was a number of inquiries, both by the inspector general, a special prosecutor, all looked at what happened in the events afterwards. and nobody suggested or concluded that anybody in my office or myself did anything improper. now, this committee is in the possession of a lot of letters of support. from the leadership of the black caucus in chicago to the leadership in the house, nancy pelosi, the house speaker. greg meeks, your sister committee in the house, chairman adam schiff. you also have letters from the chamber of commerce and building trades.
all speak to my professional capacities and you have a letter from pastor marvin, a reverend on chicago. he speaks to my character and he is laquan mcdonald's great uncle. we have prayed together over the last couple of years, gotten to know each other. gotten to talk about if we had a magic wand how we would fix what's broken in our criminal justice system. talked about current events. we've eevren argued about the cub the sox. but most importantly, we've gotten to find a common understanding. and i'm appreciative of his support for my nomination, as i am of the other leaders in chicago and the leaders here in the house that i served with. and i am appreciative of what they said. that all being said,
mr. chairman, it doesn't take away from the fact that a grave tragedy occurred seven years ago to this day on the streets of the city of chicago. and that tragedy sits with me, as it has, every day and every week for the last seven years. >> thank you very much. and you mentioned letters in possession of the committee. all those letters will be included in the record, including mr. mcdonald's relative. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator haggardy has an important engagement and has asked for me to yield to him. >> happy to have you defer to senator haggardy. >> thank you. i'll have to confess that important engagement is my nineth grade daughter's parent teacher conference coming up. >> that's a super important engagement. >> indeed, sir. thank you.
mayor emmanuel, i'd like to talk about the relationship between the united states and japan. as you know, we have a critically important economic relationship with japan. in fact, japan is the number one investor in my home state of tennessee. more than all the other nations combined, in fact. that's been a vital and critical relationship with my home state. but today, there exist as real impediment to that relationship. it has to do with the case of a tennessee citizen, named greg kelly. and it's in our nation's interest to resolve this situation quickly. i'd like to go through the facts. greg kelly of tennessee was arrested in tokyo, japan, november 19th, 2018. greg, a lawyer, was charged by a tokyo prosecutor with conspiring to under report carlos ghosn's compensation as neon director.
they plan to present their closing arguments next wednesday, october 27th, 35 months after greg was deceived to leave his home in tennessee and arrested in japan. for it's been 35 months to get to this point where his defense attorneys are able to close their case. for reasons that defy logic, a verdict is not expected until march of next year. 18 months after the trial began and more than 3.5 years after greg's trial -- after greg was first detained. here's the injustice. impartial japanese expert observers, including private corporate lawyer, have said this matter should have been handled internally. not in a court room. media reports indicate even prime minister shinzo abe held this view. former japanese prosecutor and criminal accounting specialist
have publicly stated that japan's judicial system has violated greg's human rights and that there was no reason to arrest him because there was no criminal violation. mr. kelly's lawyers believe the evidence introduced at his trial made abundantly clear no crime was committed. in reality, this was a coup within those in management that resisted further integration into the parent. i've conveyed this concern directly to cabinet level in japan. i've let them know america is the largest investor in japan. that american executives see this as an issue that rightfully should have been resolved in a court room, not prosecutor's office. this is a terrible to the rest . it's bad for japan's brand. and it's devastating to any
american that happens to get caught in this system. with this type of justice system, i fear that american executives will start thinking twice about doing business in japan. so here's the duty. our embassy has a responsibility to protect u.s. citizens. to protect mr. kelly from this injustice. and mayor emmanuel, if you're confirmed as ambassador, will you make it a matter of top priority to see that mr. kelly's name is cleared and he's returned to the united states as soon as possible? >> senator hagerty, as you know, we talked about this. the good news is there's japanese media here, so i want them to hear exactly, i have already started to inquire about this, and i want to report on my desk, and you and i both know if you start asking that, it goes from here to up here as a top priority. number two, this is a
constituent. i was a former congressman. i'm not going to treat this as a piece of business being an ambassador, i would approach it as a congressman would when a constituent is in trouble and underscore what i think is an important point right now. number one responsibility of an embassy ambassador is to insure the safety of a u.s. citizen on foreign soil. you have my word, as i said to you privately, i'm saying it publicly. again, i'm not confirmed and i hope i do get the confidence of the committee, but i know the japanese media is here so they can hear it directly, this is not just another piece of business to be checked off. i'm going to approach it as a former u.s. congressman who knows what it means when you have a constituent at heart. >> i intend to support your confirmation and i appreciate you taking on this matter of critical concern to tennesseans and also a matter of critical national interest for our two nations. thank you. >> senator, i had a 9-year-old on my watch, three of them. you get the medical slip right
now. i would get over there. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank both of our nominees for their willingness to serve our nation and critically important positions. mr. kaplan, later today, i'm going to be chairing a hearing of the u.s. helsinki commission on the freedom of the media. we'll have the osce representative, who is a representative for the freedom of the media. i mention that because when people think of singapore, and i have been to singapore, you know its economic power. you know of what it means, its strategic location and the shipping lanes. you recognize the importance of this economic partnership that the united states has with singapore, including the free trade agreement. but there's another part of singapore. it's a ridged country. it's ranked by reporters without
borders as 160th out of 180 in its annual world press freedom index. behind its neighbors such as cambodia and myanmar. my question to you, president biden has made it clear our foreign policy is going to be wrapped in our values. the freedom of the media is critically important for any democratic state. how will you make this a priority? the safety of reporters and the freedom of the media will have a voice in our mission in singapore. >> thank you very much for that question, senator. you know, for 55 years, the united states and singapore have been incredible partners. we have been partners on counterproliferation, partners on maritime security, as you said so eloquently, incredible trading partners and economic partners. and when it comes to fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of the press, which is incredibly
important topic for us as a country, for sure, you know, i think this is an area where if i'm confirmed we're going to have to engage with the singapore government. the nice thing is friends are able to talk about difficult topics. they may not want to change. we're going to want them to change, but we're going to have a dialogue. this is an area of fundamental freedoms. this is a topic of importance for the administration, and this is a priority for me. >> will you make your office available for those in singapore who need a voice in regards to the freedom of the media? >> absolutely. again, globally, this is an important issue. it's not just an issue that is personally important to me but is important to the united states and to the administration overall. >> thank you. >> mayor emmanuel, good to see you. thank you for your willingness to continue to get involved in helping our communities. you have taken on some tough assignments from the chief of staff of the president to being
a congressman dealing with the day-to-day activities of keeping constituents happy. to being a mayor of chicago. i want to talk about one issue in regards to our relationship with japan. we can talk about a lot of different issues, but we already talked about some of the military aspects. we have 50,000 troops stationed in japan, but we're in the process of negotiating the special measures agreement that will deal with a transition. you already mentioned the 1%, but a transition to the post-world war ii concept of japan, to japan being a strategic partner of the western powers in dealing with protecting democracy. so i just really want to get your thoughts as to how you will be engaged with our committee, with congress, and certainly with the defense department and the white house as we talk about
japan's modernization of its military capacity and commitment and how that will affect u.s. military presence in japan and the current arrangements that we have between our two countries. >> senator, thank you very much for the question. as we have talked before, japan today willing to go from 1% to 2% is a sea change in thinking. it's a reflection that they know they have a greater role to play, and they have greater threats. not just the percentage of a number, but what that number would reflect, what are they looking at buying, what are they thinking of adding? that's essential for their security and also essential for our partnership in that effort. i do think not just in that 2% in strategry, i don't think it is lost on all of us that there were the first country to articulate the idea of a free and open indo-pacific. that's now become the
nomenclature we use, they use, and our other allies do. it's also a bullwort that it makes sure china hears that this is a part of the world that we're going to stay in, that our ally, our number one ally in the region, is now upping its game in a way that could not happen before. and if you look over the span of the last 60 years, japan has moved forward each time in taking a more critical and a more, for lack of a better way of saying it, forward leaning effort. i would like to be also stress the military hardware is one thing. it's just a component when you link up the united states and japan. it's also the opportunity to see climate change investments, infrastructure investments, ip protection, ip investments. those are not challenges. those are opportunities. and so when we do that together, not only do we send a signal to china, but more importantly, we send a signal about america.
we are strong because of our allies and our unity. china has one strategy, a one-way road to beijing's benefit. and everybody in that region, most importantly japan, know that a united states doubling down on its commitments in the indo-pacific area makes them more secure, makes the region more safe and open, and its a values-based system not based on one country's proclivity, and anything that challenges that must be met with the united force of all of our friends and allies in the region. >> thank you. >> senator risch. >> thank you. mayor emmanuel, you and i have talked about this, but i want to underscore again this particular subject. as you know, our extended nuclear deterrence underpins architecture in the indo-pacific, and of course, part of that is strategic ambiguity. you have maybe heard our
discussions a bit about consideration at least of u.s. adopting a sole purpose statement as opposed to a strateging ambiguity. i would urge that when you go to the indo-pacific, and you hear not only from japan but from all of our partners there, their concerns about this, i hope you will convey that in the strongest terms to the current administration. can i get your thoughts on that? >> thank you, ranking member risch for the question. i would, as i said to you privately, you and i know that the last time thereas a review of our posture in the region, there was no country, not just in the region internationally around the world, no country was greater consulted and whose views were greater considered as we enunciated our policy than japan. while i am not privy to those
conversations today, i would be shocked that it wasn't following that pattern that japan's security interests are paramount to the articulation and the revision as we look to the policy. and i will just say, nothing about the current events, whether that's what's happening in north korea, what china just did over the last two weeks vis-a-vis taiwan, or with the hypersonic, has given anybody any sense as we review this policy it has to be done in consultation with our allies and friends in the area, and none more important than japan. so when i articulate, it's not me, it's president biden who has said everything we do there is built on the shoulders of the u.s./japan friendship. that's where the rubber hits the road exactly on that area. >> i'm glad to hear that. and with your experience, i have no doubt that you're able to deliver tough messages sometimes
when people don't want to hear it. >> senator, mr. ranking member, i think it could be said as a moment of self-awareness, nobody ever walked out of a meeting saying, i wonder where rahm stands on this. >> that's comforting. mr. kaplan, i really am impressed with the fact that the administration has seen fit to appoint someone with your qualifications from the private sector, a capitalist, if you would, to singapore. our trade relationship with singapore, i think, is not very much appreciated by most americans. and your appointment there i think will help underscore that. in idaho, they're one of our important trade partners. we enjoyed a great relationship with them, and of course, they have troops stationed there that are in constant training, so appreciate you doing that.
i hope that you will take into consideration how important they are as a trading partner and continue to encourage that. it's a great benefit to both ways. thank you much. >> i look forward to it. thank you, sir. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. congratulations to both of the nominees. mr. kaplan, your background of work in asia makes you uniquely suited for this position. and mr. mayor, it's good to see you here. japan/u.s. relationship requires that an ambassador go to japan and the japanese understand this is somebody who is very close to the president. they really want to see an ambassador who has a direct line to the president, and you do. and i believe that's the reason you have been chosen. i appreciate you sharing at length about mr. mcdonald, because what a tragedy. i was a mayor, and every day in
the cities, beautiful things happen and tragic things happen. and that's the case in any city, and you can't be a mayor, especially of a city like chicago, without picking up some scar tissue on the way. but your description of what you learned along the way, the levels of distrust that some in communities feel toward people in power, toward politicians, toward police, i had to learn and then relearn those lessons often in my time as the mayor of a majority african-american city. and i'm sure since chicago is a much bigger city that richmond, virginia, that those lessons were challenging and painful for you during your entire tenure, but your served in an admirable way. i want to just ask you one question that really, it's maybe a little bit about japan's domestic politics, which ambassadors don't get involved in. but you pointed out accurately that the u.s. network of alliances in the indo-pacific is incredibly important, as we
think about china threat, and there's no alliance that's more important than the u.s./japan alliance. i'm very excited that numerous presidents now have invested in this notion of the quad, and that president biden is really operationalizing it beyond strategic dialogue to do vaccine diplomacy and other things. but as i look at the quad, there's an obvious omission, that is south korea. south korea should be in that, and yet the challenges between japan and south korea have been of long standing, you know, long standing historical challenges. what might you be able to do as an ambassador to japan to help, you know, encourage closer and closer relationships between these two nations that are such great allies of the united states and have so much in common in terms of the threats they face in the region? >> senator kaine, thank you for the question. i think that japan, i mean,
japan has a new prime minister, and there's a new election. that will also be true in the spring of the coming years in south korea. i think we're both familiar, having run for office, what that does. as a general principle, and this has been articulated both by the president and i have heard him in different situations when i wore a different hat than mayor but as chief of staff, i think as it relates to this as a general kind of a at 10,000 feet, you never want the 20th century to rob us of the opportunities of the 21st century. not that those aren't heartfelt and serious, and they are, so as one, keeping people focused on the future and our commonality, not what divides us. in the united states, and the ambassador both from the united states here but also in south
korea, can play an important role in facilitating that focus on the future rather than any tensions that legitimately exist about the past. in that said, and i'm aware, like you, of politics, which is not a bad word, is nobody at this point, you don't want to embarrass or shame any one of the two parties publicly. so the goal would be to keep the private conversations moving forward so there's no sense in a public way that they have been from their own respective roles and responsibilities to their publics are not cornered from the opportunity to make the most of the 21st century. what japan faces, south korea, and the united states, i see the -- what people refer to as either climate change, infrastructure, ip protection, investments in the supply chain. those aren't challenges. they're tremendous opportunities for greater integration, greater
advancements of our cooperation, and strengthening a rules-based system that all three share. so from the challenges, make them opportunities for greater cooperation between the three parties. two, focus on the 21st century opportunities, not the challenges of the 20th century and don't let the 20th century rob us of what we can build together, and third, don't do anything that surprises people in public so they have the opportunity to be, for lack of another way of saying it, to lean forward in a collaborative and productive way. >> thank you for that. and mr. kaplan, i'm going to be very proud to support your nomination. i was going to ask you a question about press freedom, the same question that senator cardin asked. there's so much right in the u.s./singapore relationship. the low ranking of singapore on global press indices is a continuing challenge, and i look forward to -- i'm confident you'll be confirmed. >> if i'm confirmed, i obviously
look forward to working with you. >> thanks, mr. chair. >> senator coons. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and mayor emmanuel and mr. kaplan. i look forward to our exchange today and appreciate the testimony you have already provided. and let me also thank your families for supporting you, to amy and to zach, who i had the opportunity to meet in person, but had spoken to before, and to lawna and other family members watching, and thank, mayor, for sharing your personal story and journey and what that has brought to you and your decades of public service. and to mr. kaplan, your daughter samantha and other members of your life who are with us today, it's just wonderful to have both of you in front of us and to have this chance to interact with you about these two important positions that have been vacant for too long with two absolutely vital indo-pacific partners for the u.s. i am the chair of the
appropriations subcommittee responsible for our foreign assistance. japan is also a major donor in development assistance in the region. and one of the reasons i worked with a number of my colleagues to help create the development finance corporation was so that we had a new and more modern tool. more capable of partnering with the asian development bank and the japanese investment entity. how do you believe, mr. mayor, that we can use the dfc to more closely partner with japan's development entities, and how do you think partnering with our regional allies, whether it's australia or japan, south korea, others in development finance might actually create a new chapter in providing alternatives that are more transparent, that are more sustainable for the development of the region? >> senator coons, thank you for that question. i do want to take one second and personally as i have privately
thank you publicly when you're on the codell to korea, you personally called zach to check in on him, and a high order, you made one jewish grandmother and mother happy, and that's a tall order, so i want to thank you for doing that personally. on a serious note. in the process of talking to a lot of people, one, i did not realize that japan is an actually larger investor in infrastructure around the region than china. we hear a lot about belt and roads. japan is actually by a number of about $75 billion in u.s. dollars bigger than china in the region. that's a big asset with our if polling among the public in the region, japan is the most popular country. again, a big asset in our partnership. third, as i repeated, as i said earlier and want to repeat, the architecture from prime minister
abe lived on and is now adopted by all, which is a free and open indo-pacific. i think making these investments in infrastructure, our creative financing, our strategy can make an opportunity both for these type of economic opportunities that would exist in infrastructure that's linked in with the united states and japan. and two, because we will do it in a way that's open, based on a rules-based system, it will stand in direct contrast to the violations of china's belt and roads that doesn't meet the standards of oecd standards. and i think that opportunity for us to talk to future countries that may be looking at the united states or japan and say, here are the ways we're going to do this so you don't become debt dependent like often happens with china. that is a key opportunity with an ally, a popular ally, who shares the same values and commitment to a rules-based system. that is something that we want
to harness to our strategic overall interests in the region. >> thank you. let's talk a little bit more, if we can, about the modern digital economy and ways in which trade and better integration with singapore, with japan, with the region would actually serve our interests. the digital trade agreement between the united states and japan that we concluded in 2019 could be a useful starting point. singapore has been a leader in creating digital trade agreements with its trading partners. and ustr catherine ty met with her singaporean counterpart and they expressed an intent to work together on digital trade. i would be interested in hearing from both of you, how we can advance work with japan, with singapore, to set rules and standards for the digital economy that is serve as a model for the region, a model for the world, and help provide a more attractive alternative to digital authoritarianism. >> you want to go first? >> sure. thank you so much for that
question. i think as i said, since 2003, we have enjoyed an incredible free trade agreement with singapore. and the $90 billion that, you know, is passing between our borders is a critical component to the economic success of really the region and of both countries. i think as the world moves digital, i think it's going to be incredibly important for me if i'm confirmed to make sure that singapore understands this, making sure we're involved in these discussions, make sure as japan and other countries in the indo-pacific region start to develop these agreements, that the united states is right there front and center. >> i want to echo my friend, ambassador-to-be hopefully kaplan has said. we talked about this in our training and i would say, again, if i have the opportunity to be
confirmed, a digital writing of the rules is exactly what we want to be doing by saying this is a rules-based system, not based on one country's own self-interest, but what stands the test of time for all the countries in the party. and as somebody who has been a student of our politics, talking about it this way, approaching the digital piece of the economy, the writing the rules, gets us away from the kind of what i would call hunger games of our politics, the moment you say the word trade, or the moment you talk about that. but dealing with writing the rules goes to the strength of a partnership based on valued based, rules based system rather than going and dealing with the weaker part of our politics. i think that would advance our interests in the region and it's very clear, the ambassador to the usdr from the united states, she has made that clear as well. >> thank you both. mr. mayor, you demonstrated your
diplomatic skill with the breadth of who introduced you today. you were both introduced by wonderful colleagues and i look forward to visiting japan and singapore in the future and to working with you in your roles. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> i understand senator van hollen is with us virtually. >> yes. thank you, mr. chairman. and congratulations to both of these nominees. want to get back in person, but the scheduling prevented that. so to congressman emmanuel, good to see you back on capitol hill. i want to ask you about the north korean threat, because as you know, just a few days ago, north korea launched a ballistic missile into the waters off of japan. this has been part of a pattern over many, many years. as north korea's also strengthened its nuclear weapons capacity. japanese prime minister said in response to the most recent
launch, quote, we cannot overlook north korea's recent development in missile technology and must work with them and the threat -- work to address the threat in the region. so a number of years ago, senator toomey and i worked together, the congress passed something called the break act, the otto warmbier break act, and it requires the executive branch to impose secondary sanctions on financial institutions that are helping north korea escape the sanctions regime. i think we need to do a better job of making sure that we're imposing those sanctions because it seems to be a pretty leaky sanctions regime right now. but given the interest that japan and of course south korea have in addressing the ongoing threat from north korea, what should this administration be
doing, the biden administration, be doing, and what will you do if confirmed as our ambassador to japan to help address this threat? >> senator van hollen, thank you for the question. i would like to note, since we usually -- since we're in the first classes together, we got elected to congress, we talk to each other by first name, but senator van hollen, i think north korea's recent actions in just the past month, a number of tests of new messels and new offensive weapons, has alerted japan and south korea to the collaboration and cooperation that's essential with the united states of having common front. and my intention is to work not only as a representative for the united states government in doing everything to facilitate as i think i said to an earlier question, that we make sure that we deal with 21st century issues as allies and partners and not let the 20th century rob or mug
that opportunity. this is a serious challenge as it relates to security. and it's a security related to both south korea and japan, and therefore it's a security concern for the united states. and it will be one of the top priorities i will have, to work on that collaboration and understanding so there's a united front with the united states, japan, and south korea. obviously, this is much higher if i was to be confirmed than my pay grade, but i'll be putting my oar in the water to pull alongside and make sure the objectives laid out by the secretary of state, the president of the united states, to make sure it's executed and it stays front and center. >> now y appreciate that. look, i think the new administration, the biden administration, is still sort of framing its approach to north
korea, but i think this most recent missile test underscores the importance of determining exactly what approach we're going to take, and obviously, working closely with our allies, japan and south korea and others. speaking about security arrangements and allies, the quad has become an increasingly important sort of structure for addressing security and economic and other issues in the indo-pacific region. can you talk a little bit about how you envision working with japan to strengthen the quad partnership? >> i mean, you are exactly right, and i would say if you could, we could hold the quad up in what the president is doing as taking something that was a bipartisan concept, started in prior administrations, and really has evolved, including under president trump and part of that, president obama, and
president biden has put some real meat on the bones, and it's not an accident that it's the quad both virtually and in person is the only entity he's met with now twice in his short tenure as president. and all the parties, india on its own border, australia with the recent change in the nuclear sub, nuclear powered sub acquisition, and japan with its own recent investment, know that the partnership here is an essential one for the strategic interest as we all the parties confront a threat both by china and any threat strategically or militarily. so i see the quad as the president has enunciated, as the backbone of both economic and security interests in the region of the united states and working with our closest allies who have the same sense that this is an important for now a very, very
important tool for america's foreign policy in the area and strategic interests being articulated and acted upon. >> thank you. >> thank you, and mr. chairman, thank you. and my best to amy and the family. i look forward to supporting your nomination. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator merkley. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and thank you both. extensive records of public service and mayor, there's no question as members of the senate have pointed out, you have this extensive depth and breadth of public service that brings a tremendous amount of knowledge to serving the united states when confirmed. but i feel it's important to explore one piece that you have made reference to. we have received on the committee a letter from a dozen
aldermen, state representatives, state senators, a county commissioner, asking we take a close look at the question of systemic racism and how the role of city leaders working closely with police departments sustains inequities. and certainly, in my home state, we have wrestled with this. my largest city, portland, has predominantly white police force that has a record of shootings and shootings of members of the minority community, black and hispanic citizens, that has been a very contentious issue. and chicago had this as well. 2010 to 2015, police fired 528 cases, they hit citizens 262 times. they fatally shot 92
individuals. of those who were hit, 94% were members of minority communities. asian, black, or hispanic. when you and i met and i appreciated your comments and thoughts, you said kind of the big mistake you made was that you took at full faith an evaluation from a group of police officers that the shooting of laquan mcdonald was a good shooting. a term that apparently the police used. that group of officers that rendered that, was that an official police review board? >> we said, senator, and i thank you for the question, and i think there are two parts. i would like to address both if i could. >> please don't eat up all my
time. i know that's a great tactic. but i really wanted to get to the heart of this. i just wanted to understand because that's the key thing, i wanted to understand, was that an official police board that rendered the evaluation? >> the police leadership the next morning after a police-involved shooting investigations the shooting. >> the morning after? >> yes. >> you had conveyed to me, that kind of shaped your thinking up through the eventual release, the following year later, and then your public commentary in november of 2015. my understanding is that the mother of laquan mcdonald learned about the nature of the shooting when she was called by the funeral house who said to her, do you realize your son was shot multiple times, that his body is riddled with bullets? she didn't know apparently at
that point, that information had not been shared with her. and then her attorney subpoenaed records in november of 2014. and when the attorney subpoenaed records, did that trigger the conversation that filled you in? i know you said you never saw the videos, but filled you in on the fact that this was an unusual case where a child had been shot 16 times? >> as i said in answer to chairman menendez, you know, there is an investigation going on by three entities. the u.s. attorney, the state's attorney, ipra. they were the ones dealing with this. and as i believe, you don't want a politician to make a unilateral decision while the investigations are go on because it would violate a sacrosanct
protocol and principle of insuring nothing is out prior to investigation being wrapped up -- >> yes, mayor, but that wasn't my question. my question was, when her attorneys sought the evidence from the city, is that when you learned about the nature of what it happened from the city attorney or from the police? >> as i said, when the video became public is when i learned what happened and the consequence of what happened that night. >> so in december, the family viewed the tapes. and the city required that they enter into a nondisclose agreement. that's a pretty significant decision. you are saying you had no idea of the circumstances of the shooting, no one had told you a child had been shot 16 times or that the child was lying on the ground, that a revolver was reloaded? you had no idea in december when the family reviewed the tapes? >> senator, it is -- that
situation, the family approached the city about a settlement, an nda is a standard practice at that time, and also, the public information, as you know when the city council is asked to work with the family, come up with the resources for the compensation, all of the members of the city council heard that and passed 50-0, so that was the kind of description that was in the public domain when it was voted on. >> yes, of course. i didn't ask about the nda. i asked if at that point -- >> sorry. >> you were briefed on the details of the shooting. >> the details were in the public domain when the corporation counsel briefed the aldermen. >> so in february and march, the city reached out proactively -- please, chairman, can i finish a few questions here?
>> i don't know about a few questions. but this has been explored, and it's now almost two minutes over. i'll give you another minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll submit questions for the record so you can address these things. but i think that in this time of national reckoning with the challenge of black lives matter, when aldermen and state representatives and state senators say this was an issue, that there was close cooperation during your time as mayor between the mayor's office to essentially discourage the release of information and to not develop significant reforms, which i know that you have a story to tell about the reforms and i'll submit questions to the record so you can tell that story. i think it's important for this committee to actually weigh
this. and so thank you for meeting with me before. thank you for addressing this now. but just to clarify, i was -- because all these things happened, the family requested the video, the city attorney reached out proactively before there was a lawsuit to ask for a settlement, the settlement was approved in a less than one-minute meeting with no public discussion, it seems hard to believe that all of those things happened and yet you were never briefed on the details of the situation when you were leading the city. >> can i -- since you brought up aldermanic letters. as you'll see the leadership of the black caucus has signed a letter in support of my nomination. those are the members that worked with me. it doesn't take away from the fact, as i said before, and i want to repeat because i think
it's important. all those are not technicalities. this is a tragedy that happened. as you know, as you made reference to what's going on in portland, and as i said, no city of any size has not confronted the gulf and the gap that exists between police practices and the oversight and accountability. i made efforts of them. they missed the mark because they totally missed how deep that distrust is. and in the reverend or pastor's letter, how broken the system is that we all relied on. >> i did note -- >> the chair would just say to my distinguished colleague, i have allowed you to go four minutes over the five minutes, so i think that questions for the record would be appropriate. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. kaplan, before we adjourn this hearing, i want you to think you're not the object of my affection for the position you're going to have, so let me ask you, singapore along with
other countries in the region face a time of increasing geopolitical uncertainty with china's growing assertiveness in the pacific. what's your assessment of how singapore's thinking on china has evolved in recent years? how do we influence singapore's approach towards both confronting and competing with china in a way that aligns it more with our values, which i believe they generally share, versus the values that china is promoting? >> thank you very much for that question. the u.s. must engage with china from a position of strength. and strength comes from our partnerships and our partnerships within the region. we have talked about this throughout this hearing. and i believe that singapore is a tremendously strong partner of the united states. they're involved in our f-35 program. we have naval operations that we
do with them as the ranking member mentioned, we train their air force. so if i'm confirmed, i look forward to continuing to work with the government, continuing to come up with ways for us to support a partnership that addresses these threats that china continues to bring upon not just the united states but the world overall. >> enduring support for asean is critical for the united states and central to the engagement of our partnership with singapore. when the foreign minister was here, we had a significant conversation about asean. what steps would you take to help singapore in bolstering asean's centrality in the asia pacific region? >> i think, you know, the president and the secretary of state wanted to have a multifaceted approach to the region. they aukus, quad, and asean. singapore is a founding member
of asean. the united states has always been a firm supporter of asean. the secretary and president have reaffirmed their commitment to asean and if confirmed i look forward to working with government, working with industry, working with singapore to insure that everyone knows we're behind asean, singapore remains an important part of asean, and asean will play a critical role in the safety and security of the region. >> finally, mayor emmanuel, i want to go back to japan very quickly but importantly. we need, and i have said this to leaders from both countries who have come to visit us here in washington, we need japan and south korea to understand that their unity along with us is critical to deal with the regional security questions and certainly with north korea. and i think in my 30 years of doing foreign policy between the house and the senate, this is not one of the best moments i have seen between the two
countries. i hope you will use upon confirmation your efforts to try to get the japanese from their side and then we will get our person in south korea to do the same, to find some common ground. there are historical issues. i understand that. but the security of both nations and its people should supersede their common interests in that regard. is that something we can count on you to try to do? >> 100%, mr. chairman. in the remaining minutes f i could just say, this is no doubt there's been highs and lows in the relationship between japan and south korea. i think that given what north korea has done and is doing, what china has done and is doing, makes this an opportunity in an organizing way to have both parties or the tri, meaning the united states, japan, and
south korea, to now focus on what is not a theoretical threat but a reality as the recent tests just the other day by north korea has shown. that this is not theoretical given the sub test, the submarine test that was just done. that to me underscores there's a level of urgency for all parties to now find the common ground, focus on the future, focus on what binds us together, and not allow tensions of the past and disagreements to actually in any way endanger, and i do think -- endanger the relationship. i would close with one other thought. china, russia, north korea are trying to find cracks and fissures between the alliances between the united states, japan, and south korea. our job as a facilitator and to create the bounds of unity that we speak with one voice, one interest.
this is one of if not the highest priority to find that unity so we can confront the attempt by china and north korea to divide us. >> finally, as in all relationships, question of press freedom with singapore was raised earlier. in this case, more than 475 u.s. children have been kidnapped in japan. and the u.s. has named japan a top three world offender of international parental child abduction. there has been no significant improvement since japan exceeded to the hague convention in 2014. so when you are confirmed, i hope that you will make one of your priorities to get the japanese government to understand that when you enter into an international convention and when american children are
involved, we certainly expect you to live up to your obligations under the convention. >> and mr. chairman, i would underscore this point, if i was fortunate to get the committee and the full senate support to be confirmed. your word is your bond. if you signed into an agreement to be trusted as a partner and ally, you must uphold the principle of that agreement. >> all right. this record for this hearing will remain open until the close of business tomorrow, thursday, october 21st, to members of the committee, please insure questions for the record are submitted no later than thursday to our nominees. i would just urge you upon receipt, inevitably, there will be questions for the record, that you answer them expeditiously and fully so then we can consider your nominations before the committee for a business meeting. with the thanks of the committee, this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. of e