“We Need China” – Biden’s China Ambassador Worked at a CCP-Linked Consulting Firm, And A Harvard Group Advising China’s Military.


President Biden’s presumptive Ambassador to China – Nick Burns – is a former adviser to a consulting firm employing Chinese Communist Party officials, a board member of a Harvard University program collaborating with China’s military, and a contributor to Chinese state-run media outlets.

While corporate news media outlets refer to Burns as a “career diplomat,” he is in fact more like a career Chinese Communist Party apparatchik, The National Pulse can exclusively reveal.

Prior to joining Team Biden, Burns served as a Senior Counselor at the Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by Bill Clinton-era Defense Secretary Bill Cohen. The Cohen Group works closely with former Chinese Communist Party officials many consultants are active in various D.C.-based China lobbying groups. What’s more, the group has participated in an advisory program working with an entity sanctioned by President Trump for human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The former member of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush’s State Department also serves on the Board of Harvard’s Belfer Center, which routinely conducts cybersecurity events alongside Chinese Communist Party military officials and has appeared on China Global Television Network (CGTN).

“We can’t see them as the enemy because we need them,” Burns remarked in reference to China at a 2020 Aspen Institute event.

CCP Consultancy.

The Cohen Group’s China Practice claims to facilitate “constructive engagement and cooperation between leading multinational companies and Chinese enterprises around the world” as well as “support Chinese companies engaged in high-quality investments overseas.”

To do so, the Cohen Group has retained two China-based offices in Beijing and Tianjin for over a decade and employs former Chinese Communist Party officials.

The group’s Beijing Deputy Chief Representative, Xiaorong Wu, led the Chinese Communist Party’s “era of sovereignty” campaign as a former official in the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs “where he participated in Sino-UK negotiation on the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.”

Another Chief Representative, Yinghua Wang, joined the group in 2007 after years of serving the Chinese Communist Party’s Tianjin Municipal Government. As an official, Mr. Wang “frequently hosted meetings with foreign officials in order to foster stronger political and economic ties between Tianjin and state governments in the United States.”


The Cohen Group also retains partnerships with a bevy of Chinese Communist Party such as the U.S.-China Business Council.

It has sponsored the Council’s 40th Anniversary Dinner where Henry Kissinger, notoriously soft on China, was honored. Cameron Turley, the Cohen Group’s Vice President, identifies himself as a member of the pro-China lobby group known as the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR). Founder Bill Cohen has even helped commemorate the group’s 50th anniversary as a speaker.

And the Cohen Group’s Senior Counselor William Zarit, who formerly served as Commercial Program Officer at the NCUSCR, is the Chairman of the Board for the American Chamber of Commerce in China, which argues for closer business ties between the two countries.

In 2011, founder Bill Cohen met with the chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), China’s top government-funded think tank, at the Chinese Communist Party’s central headquarters in Beijing. CCIEE offered to “work together with the Cohen Group to provide services in helping domestic and foreign companies to expand their businesses both at home and abroad,” and Cohen readily agreed. Cohen insisted he’d “help Chinese companies go global and conduct investment in the U.S.,” the primary avenue by which the Chinese Communist Party conducts intellectual property theft, espionage, and siphons American jobs.

In 2018, Bill Cohen visited China again to meet with Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong. Cohen pledged to “use its advantages to further promote the cooperation and exchanges of companies in both countries and advance the healthy development of bilateral trade and investment” during the meeting.

The Cohen Group was also listed as a 2014 participant in the Harvard Ash Center’s “China’s Leaders in Development Program,” an initiative that touts itself as “widely recognized by the Chinese government as one of the best overseas training programs for government officials.” Several years, members of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corp, which has been identified as an “instrument of repression” against Uyghurs by the Washington Post and now sanctioned by the Trump and Biden administrations for “serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang,” have repeatedly joined the delegation.

Academics for Genocide.

Burns also serves on the board of Harvard’s Belfer Center, which center has hosted cybersecurity working groups alongside Chinese Communist Party government and military officials, despite China’s repeated poaching and hacking of U.S. technology, The group roleplayed “fictitious cyber scenarios” and discussed sensitive technology matters relating to artificial intelligence, Huawei, arms control frameworks, and more:

Both sides worked through a fictitious cyber scenario to discuss what their respective governments and companies would do in the face of a third party cyber attack on critical infrastructure. The working group also discussed AI, IP theft, supply chain security and Huawei, arms control frameworks, and controlling the spread of malware over the dark web. 

Pictures from the event reveal People’s Liberation Army General Hao Yeli in attendance:

General Hao Yeli (second from left) and colleagues from the China working group discuss responses during the fictitious cyber scenario of a third party attack on critical infrastructure.

The Harvard center felt comfortable swapping cybersecurity tips with the group, even inviting its Senior Adviser, General Hao, for a speech, “Perspectives from the PLA: A Conversation with Major General Hao Yeli.”


Burns, also a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, has appeared on Chinese state-run media outlets including China Global Television Network (CGTN). In 2015, he appeared on the program to support extending American troop presence in Afghanistan.

“We need to stay the course here,” he emphasized before adding “most countries in the world want to see the United States and its NATO allies stay as long as we can to stabilize that government.”


Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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