Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Thursday he has “no confidence” Biden’s United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield will stand up to China, according to a statement.
“I ask the members of this committee at a time China, I believe, poses the single greatest geopolitical threat to the United States over the next century. We need a U.N. ambassador who will stand up to China, to China’s pervasive influence at the United Nations. And given her record, I have no confidence that this nominee would do so,” Cruz said during a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations business meeting.
Cruz’s opposition to Thomas-Greenfield’s nomination comes in lieu of previous reports that show Thomas-Greenfield gave a paid speech at the CCP-funded Confucius Institute at Savannah State University in 2019.
In her speech, Thomas-Greenfield praised China’s cultural and economic efforts in Africa, including the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) for the “rollout of critical projects in Africa,” The Washington Post reported.
In his statement, Cruz was quick to point out that Thomas-Greenfield’s praise of BRI contradicts previous efforts made by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to combat China’s economic initiatives in Africa, particularly the BUILD Act of 2018, which seeks to “facilitate the participation of private sector capital and skills in the economic development of countries” transitioning from non-market to market economies.
Cruz tweeted a portion of his statement to the committee on Thursday.
Sen. @tedcruz says he will not vote for Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN Ambassador nominee, slams her record on China: “We need a UN Ambassador who will stand up to China… I have no confidence that this nominee would do so.” pic.twitter.com/TtO61Kk5mI
— Forbes (@Forbes) February 4, 2021
“The BUILD Act, which this committee moved forward, was designed to combat the Belt and Road initiative. Her speech praises the Belt and Road initiative and says that America needs to follow China’s example,” Cruz told the committee.
Thomas-Greenfield challenged the Trump administration’s Africa policy in her Confucius Institute speech, which she described as a “…battleground for great power competition rather than engagement with African leaders,” the Post reported.
During a Jan. 27 Senate confirmation hearing, it was revealed that Thomas-Greenfield was paid a $1,500 honorarium for her speech by Savannah State University, the Post reported.
Thomas-Greenfield expressed regret over her speech during the Jan. 27 hearing, saying “I do regret that speech,” CNN reported. “But if you look at what I have done prior to that, there is no question that I understand, I am not at all naïve about what the Chinese are doing.”
Cruz has reportedly delayed Thomas-Greenfield’s confirmation with Thursday’s committee meeting in the hope that her confirmation will have to pass through the Senate in the midst of former President Trump’s impeachment trial, Politico reported.
“Read the speech for yourself and ask yourself this: would you be proud to see the representative for the United States of America giving that speech at the United Nations? I don’t think the answer is yes. And I think confirming this nominee is a mistake,” Cruz concluded in his Thursday statement.
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