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Photo: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday nominated Rahm Emanuel, former President Obama's chief of staff, as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

State of play: The president also nominated Nick Burns, the State Department's former No. 3, as ambassador to China. He also served as ambassador to NATO and to Greece.

  • Emanuel served in the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2009, and then became mayor of Chicago from 2011 to 2019.
  • Burns is a Harvard University professor and former State Department spokesman who capped his Foreign Service career by serving as undersecretary of state for political affairs for President George W. Bush.
  • By sending him to Beijing, Biden would be indicating a preference for a seasoned diplomat instead of a high-wattage politician, Axios reported.
  • Biden also nominated Michael Battle, who previously worked at the State Department, as the ambassador to Tanzania.
  • Battle served as senior adviser to the Bureau of African Affairs at State for the U.S. Africa Leader’s Summit in 2014. He also served for 20 years as a chaplain in the Army Reserve.

Go deeper: Biden to pick Rahm Emanuel as U.S. ambassador to Japan

Go deeper

First look: Trump Republican comes to Rahm's defense

Sen. Bill Hagerty. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

One of Donald Trump's staunchest allies, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), will speak out publicly Wednesday in support of one of President Biden's targeted ambassadorial nominees — former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Why it matters: Progressive activists are pressuring liberal senators to oppose Emanuel's confirmation as U.S. ambassador to Japan. Support from key Republicans may end up ensuring the Democrat gets the job.

Rage over Rahm

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images

Progressive activists in Chicago — led by Democratic congressional candidate Kina Collins — are planning two days of demonstrations in the city around Rahm Emanuel's hearing to be U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Why it matters: The protests are the latest example of the tension between the Democratic Party's progressive and centrist wings. While Collins and others want the White House to retract Emanuel's nomination, there's no indication he won't be confirmed.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

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