Entries in Gary Locke (3)


Gary Locke Sworn In as US Ambassador to China

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton swore in Gary Locke as the next U.S. ambassador to China on Monday at the U.S. State Department.

Locke pledged to strengthen Sino-American relations and to raise issues of concern when disagreements arise.

“I firmly believe that improved U.S.-China cooperation is critically important, not just for our own two countries, but for the world community,” he said.

“In those sensitive areas where America and China have differences or serious disagreement, I will work to keep the lines of communication open, to convey the administration’s positions clearly, and to engage with Chinese government officials at the highest levels. At the same time I hope to do more to communicate directly with the Chinese people to improve understanding between our two great nations,” Locke said shortly after taking the oath.

Locke previously served as President Obama’s commerce secretary and was nominated to succeed former Republican Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who left the post in Beijing earlier this year to mount his own presidential campaign.

Prior to serving as commerce secretary, Locke was the governor of Washington for eight years and later supported Hillary Clinton’s bid for president.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Formally Nominates Locke for U.S. Ambassador to China

George Doyle/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama made it official Wednesday morning in the Diplomatic Reception Room, formally nominating Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to be the next US Ambassador to China

Flanked by Locke, Secretary of State Clinton, and Chief of Staff Bill Daley, the president first said a few words first about his outgoing Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, a possible Republican White House contender in 2012. 

"During his tenure, Jon has been an outstanding advocate for this administration and for this country," Obama said, "and has helped to strengthen our critical relationship with the Chinese government and the Chinese people.  And so I am very grateful for his service."

President Obama highlighted Secretary Locke's family ties to China – calling him the "grandson of a Chinese immigrant who went on to live the American dream." Locke's grandfather left China on a steamboat bound for Washington State where he worked as a domestic servant in exchange for English lessons.

"A century later, his grandson will return to China as America's top diplomat," Obama noted of the symbolism of his nomination.

"I'm going back to the birthplace of my grandfather, my father, my mom, and her side of the family, and I'll be doing so as a devoted and passionate advocate for America, the country where I was born and raised," Secretary Locke said.

The president also emphasized Locke's work in his two years as the Commerce Secretary, advocating for American businesses and exports around the world. He said this would be a role Mr. Locke would continue to play in his new job.

"He's earned the trust of business leaders across America by listening to their concerns, making it easier for them to export their goods abroad, and dramatically reducing the time it takes to get a patent. When he's in Beijing, I know that American companies will be able to count on him to represent their interests in front of China's top leaders."

Locke said he is eager to manage "one of America's most critical and complex diplomatic, economic, and strategic relationships," as he takes on the new challenge.

The president singled out Locke's family -- his wife and three kids -- who will be packing up shortly to move to Beijing. The president said he was commiserating with the family's 14-year-old daughter about having to move around a lot as a child.

"I assured her it would be great 10 years from now. Right now it's probably a drag," the president joked.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Nominate Commerce Secretary Locke as US Ambassador to China

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- ABC News has learned that President Obama intends to nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as the next U.S. ambassador to China.

Locke is the first Chinese-American to be Secretary of Commerce. The former two-term governor of Washington State, Locke’s father and maternal grandfather emigrated from China to Seattle.  As a partner in the Seattle office of the international law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Locke co-chaired the firm's China practice.

“The president asked him to take this job because Locke had the experience and relationships necessary to take on this key post,” a senior administration official tells ABC News. “With more than two decades of experience dealing with China, Gary Locke has forged important relationships with China’s top political leadership. There is simply no one better positioned to advocate for American interests there and build on a bilateral relationship critical for the 21st century.”

The official says that “as a Pacific Rim governor and Commerce Secretary he helped lead an historic increase in trade with China. As Commerce Secretary, Locke has delivered on the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years (up 17 percent in 2010), led the push for patent and export control reforms and presided over a Census count that came in 25 percent under budget -- returning more than $2 billion to the Treasury.”

President Obama has had some interesting moments with his outgoing ambassador to China, to say the least.

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman, R-Utah, who lived in China as a young Mormon missionary, was appointed amidst much fanfare about bipartisanship and politics ending at the water’s edge, but he will be leaving that post in April and return to the U.S. to explore a run for president against his current boss.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio