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US envoy nominee to press China on trade, security

/ 05:17 AM January 30, 2014

Retiring Montana Sen. Max Baucus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his nomination to become US ambassador to China. Tuesday’s hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a switch for the six-term Democrat from Montana. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus is used to vetting nominees. On Tuesday he will be answering questions. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON—Sen. Max Baucus, nominated to be US ambassador to China, said on Tuesday that he planned to press the Asian power to follow “international rules” on trade and maritime disputes.

In a confirmation hearing before fellow senators, Baucus stuck close to US President Barack Obama’s message on relations with China on issues from fighting cyberespionage against the United States to improving human rights.

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As territorial rows raise tensions between Beijing and its neighbors, including Japan and the Philippines, Baucus said he would “urge China to follow international law, international rules and international norms on maritime issues.”

“I will stress that all sides must work together to manage and resolve sovereignty disputes without coercion or the use of force,” Baucus told the Senate foreign relations committee in a prepared testimony.

Baucus, who has represented the ranching state of Montana in the Senate since 1978, is most associated on the international stage with advocating free trade agreements.

Baucus said he would work to achieve “concrete results” on trade concerns, including greater protection by China of the intellectual property rights of US companies.

“China must be fully invested in the global rules-based economic system,” Baucus said.

Senators voiced confidence that Baucus, a member of Obama’s Democratic Party, would win confirmation and succeed Gary Locke, the former governor of Washington state who was the first Chinese-American to take the position.

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TAGS: China, Diplomacy, Global Nation, Max Baucus, territorial disputes, US
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