The Ethnicity of the U.S. Ambassador Does Not Alter America’s China Policy

By Yu Yongsheng
Translated By Liangzi He

Edited by Hoishan Chan

China – Huanqiu – Original Article (Chinese)
On March 9, U.S. President Barack Obama formally nominated Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke as the next ambassador to China, succeeding the incumbent ambassador Jon Huntsman, who will leave in April. According to American law, this nomination has not yet been approved by Congress. However, based on Gary Locke’s situation, the possibility that Congress will veto this nomination is very small. After the announcement of Obama’s nomination, a majority of the senators welcomed the approach. Therefore, the Chinese will welcome the first “compatriot” U.S. ambassador a month later if there’s no accident.
This nomination shows that the Obama administration attaches great importance to relations with China, because from a historical view, the situation that an incumbent minister is made an ambassador is seldom seen in the U.S. Many ambassador positions are filled by former officials, and what is special this time is that Gary Locke is currently in a relatively important position — Secretary of Commerce. As for the nominee being a Chinese-American, Chinese citizens obviously feel warm about it, which can achieve the goal of attempting to narrow the distance between the two countries, since everybody knows that the Chinese people think highly of this “compatriot” friendship. In fact, Obama didn’t deny this kind of consideration. He claimed during the announcement of the nomination that the China-U.S. relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations in the 21st century; and as a descendant of Chinese immigrants, Gary Locke is the right person to carry forward the bilateral cooperation. Since Chinese-American Wang Xiaomin has taken office as the U.S. envoy before the lunar new year, after Gary Locke takes office, the first- and second-in-command at the U.S. embassy in China will both be Chinese-Americans.

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