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Biden is reportedly considering nominating Pete Buttigieg, his former presidential opponent, to be ambassador to China

Sinéad Baker
·2 min read
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  • President-elect Joe Biden is considering Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to be his China ambassador, according to Axios.

  • Buttigieg endorsed and campaigned for Biden after dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

  • Biden promised during his campaign to be tough on China.

  • Axios also reported that Buttigieg was being considered for other key domestic roles — but that he could also end up without any senior role.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden is considering nominating his former presidential rival Pete Buttigieg to be his ambassador to China, Axios reported on Tuesday.

People familiar with Biden's thinking told Axios that he was considering Buttigieg for the role, as well as for other top domestic positions in his administration, including at the departments of Transportation or Commerce.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, dropped out of the 2020 presidential race in March, after an unexpectedly strong performance that included a win in the Iowa caucuses.

Buttigieg then endorsed Biden and campaigned for him.

Buttigieg joined Biden's transition team in November after Biden won the election against President Donald Trump.

Buttigieg Biden
Buttigieg and Biden shake hands after the Democratic presidential debate in October 2019. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Biden promised during his campaign to be tough on China and was critical of Trump's relationship with the country, accusing the president of not effectively standing up to it.

Tensions with China marked the Trump presidency and brought about tariffs and a trade war.

As Business Insider's Thomas Colson reported, Biden has been critical of that strategy, and experts have said he's likely to work with Europe to put pressure on China.

Axios reported that many in the Democratic Party think Buttigieg, 38, is likely to run for president again - and that giving him this role would give China the chance to become familiar with a possible future president.

The report also said that Buttigieg had wanted to be the ambassador to the United Nations but that Biden did not choose him for the role.

Buttigieg is now saying he would most like roles related to foreign policy or national security, sources told Axios.

Axios also noted that Biden has focused on nominating people of color and women for roles and that it was still possible that Buttigieg would not be nominated for any senior position.

Read the original article on Business Insider