R. Nicholas (“Nick”) Burns, the U.S. ambassador to China, is one of America’s leading diplomats. He has held important posts dating back to the Clinton administration when he was the State Department spokesman. He started his posting as NATO ambassador in August 2001, just a month before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which would tax NATO in ways it hadn’t been since its inception. For the first time, NATO invoked its Article 5, which calls for countries to come to the aid of a member under attack. (A personal aside: I attended a party at Burns’ ambassadorial residence in Brussels the evening before the 9/11 attack.) Afterwards, he was undersecretary of state for political affairs from 2005 to 2008. After retiring from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2008, he advised corporate clients at the Cohen Group, headed by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He began his stint as ambassador to China in April 2022. This interSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.