President Joe Biden’s nominee to be director of the CIA, William Burns, told a Senate committee on Wednesday that he saw competition with China – and countering its “adversarial, predatory” leadership – as the key to U.S. national security.
Burns, 64, a former career diplomat during both Democratic and Republican administrations, is expected to easily win confirmation to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Burns has already been confirmed by the Senate five times for his stints as ambassador to Jordan and Russia and three senior State Department positions.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will likely vote on his confirmation late next week or the week after, to allow time for members to send more questions, a congressional official said.
Testifying to the committee, Burns outlined his four top priorities – “people, partnerships, China and technology” – if he is confirmed.
He called China “a formidable, authoritarian adversary,” that is strengthening its ability to steal intellectual property, repress its people, expand its reach and build influence within the United States.