Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg may be President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for the U.S. ambassador position to China, Axios has reported. It will most likely be one of the most important diplomatic posts in the Biden Administration and will help build Buttigieg’s resume for his future political aspirations.
Buttigieg is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and ran for president in 2020 before dropping out to consolidate moderates’ support around Biden. Buttigieg, an Afghan war veteran and the first openly gay candidate for the U.S. presidency, is considered to have played a key role in Biden’s presidential nomination. He won the most delegates in the Iowa caucuses.
Axios has reported that “many inside the Democratic Party believe his return as a presidential candidate is a matter of when, not if.”
Strengthening his foreign policy connections could benefit Buttigieg’s future if he decides to run for president again. Axios reported that a stint as ambassador in Beijing would give the Chinese an opportunity to get to know a potential future president.
However, his name was under discussion for some domestic leadership positions as well, according to Axios.
“China isn’t the only foreign post where Buttigieg, a polyglot, could end up — and his name remains under discussion for some domestic leadership positions as well,” Axios reported.
Biden decided against Buttigieg as his ambassador to the United Nations, the job was said to be Buttigieg’s top choice.
Biden has compared Buttigieg to his late son, Beau.
Biden said of Buttigieg in the past, “I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but he reminds me of my son Beau. I know that may not mean much to most people, but, to me, it’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman.”
You can follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @Annaliese Levy
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Biden to lift sanctions on China in exchange for third promise to combat fentanyl
Reportedly President Joe Biden is making deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help improve anti-drug trafficking measures. China is one of the top fentanyl producers and distributors, culminating in a pandemic of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the United States.
The Biden administration will be lifting sanctions on a Chinese government ministry, in exchange for bolstering anti-drug trafficking measures, Bloomberg reported. “We’re hoping to see some progress on that issue this coming week,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday, according to the New York Post. “That could then open the door to further cooperation on other issues where we aren’t just managing things, but we’re actually delivering tangible results.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation noted that should a deal materialize, it will be at least the third time that China has promised to get tough on fentanyl. In 2016, China agreed to increase counter-narcotics operations, and Xi again agreed to launch a crackdown in 2018. Nonetheless, China and Mexico are “the primary source countries for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States,” according to a 2020 DEA intelligence report.
“China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environment, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States.”
President Joe Biden and Xi are meeting for the first time in over a year during this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. Sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will crack down on Chinese companies manufacturing chemical precursors for fentanyl in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science, which the Commerce Department added to the Entity List in 2020 for “engaging in human rights violations and abuses” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
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