Biden considering possible China ambassadorship for former Mayor Buttigieg: Axios

Former Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, part of the Harris debate preparations team, waits to watch Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence participate in their 2020 vice presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., October 7, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is considering appointing former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg to a high-level ambassadorship, possibly to China, Axios reported here on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Buttigieg, an Afghanistan war veteran who battled Biden for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, was among the top contenders for the role of ambassador to the United Nations, but Axios reported that Biden passed him over for this.

Biden’s office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Many in the Democratic Party believe Buttigieg could return as a presidential candidate, the Axios report said, adding that a stint as ambassador in Beijing would give the Chinese an opportunity to get to know a potential future president.

However, his name was under discussion for some domestic leadership positions as well, according to Axios.

After his presidential bid faltered, Buttigieg became one of Biden’s top advocates in the campaign against Trump, putting him in line for a top job in the administration.

The former mayor also used his knowledge of Vice President Mike Pence’s record as governor of Indiana to help Democrat Kamala Harris in her debate with the incumbent.

Reporting by Derek Francis and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.