Republicans grill Biden’s pick for UN ambassador over speech at Confucius Institute at HBCU
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said she regretted giving a speech in 2019 at a Chinese-funded institute in Savannah – remarks that quickly became a flashpoint at her confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
In the October 2019 speech, she seemed to downplay China’s expansionist ambitions and its investments across Africa, which critics have called “debt diplomacy.” Her remarks were made at a “Confucius Institute” at Savannah State University, a historically black college.
Thomas-Greenfield said it was a “huge mistake” on her part to speak at the Confucius Institute. She said she agreed to address students at the university as part of her longstanding commitment to encouraging young Black students to consider a career in the foreign service.
Sen. James Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called Thomas-Greenfield’s 2019 remarks “the elephant in the room.” And Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., expressed shock that she did not seem to realize how China has used state-funded Confucius Institutes to spread propaganda. Many universities, including Savannah State University, have closed or otherwise severed their ties with such institutes in recent years.
I would think more of them if they said yes I stood by every word I said. Too often those in the public eye use mealy mouthed words to get out of something they so firmly believed in. No wonder people do not trust those in politics.