Baucus Senate confirmation Hearing illuminates need for U.S. to clarify stance toward human rights abuses in China
Senator Baucus (D-MT) appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday for his confirmation hearing as the next U.S. ambassador to China, following the departure of Gary Locke. Perhaps the most interesting exchange of the ninety-minute hearing was with Senator Rubio (R-FL), where Senator Rubio questioned Baucus about Obama Administration policy about U.S. embassies as literal "islands of freedom" in host countries. Baucus was unable to give an explicit answer, instead asking for time to return to the Administration to clarify U.S. policy on the matter. Rubio further elaborated on his question, insisting that the U.S. must remain firm in pushing back against China's "new model of great power relations," whereby the U.S. essentially stays out of China's "internal" affairs regarding human rights abuses. Baucus agreed with Rubio, but maintained that U.S. protestations remain strategic and carefully considered; moreover, Baucus alluded to the fact that ultimately expanded U.S. trade relations and business interactions with China would drive dialogue forward regarding human rights.
Tiananmen Massacre Presentation