Entries in Jon Huntsman (2)


Jon Huntsman to Discuss China with Dr. Henry Kissinger

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Ambassador Jon Huntsman will participate in a discussion on China with former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger on Tuesday, ABC News has learned. British journalist Harold Evans will moderate the luncheon, which will take place in New York City.

Huntsman was appointed Ambassador to China by President Obama in May 2009. He served for two years before returning to the United States last month, though rumors of a potential 2012 presidential run were circulating for months before his resignation.

"I never expected … to be called into action by the person who beat us," Huntsman said in his appointment speech, standing next to President Obama.  "But I grew up understanding that the most basic responsibility one has is service to country. When the president of the United States asks you to step up and serve in a capacity like this, that, to me, is the end of the conversation."

Since his return, Huntsman has used his many experiences in China as a key talking point on the stump, telling the graduating class at Southern New Hampshire University, “You hear how the Chinese economy is going to swamp us. Don’t believe it.”

“China has its own problems. And we have our own strengths. I mean, there is a reason that Google was started in America and not Russia or Germany or China,” he said.

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Huntsman emphasized the importance of sparking a new industrial revolution in America in order to match China’s recent economic achievements.

“China is on the move. They’ve had thirty years of eight, nine, 10 percent economic growth,” said Huntsman. “You walk the streets of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, doesn’t matter where, people are euphoric, they are giddy with pride at what they’ve been able to do economically.”

“We are not making the most of our innate indigenous resources here,” he continued. “And it has everything to do with the environment that has been created in this country, which is not pro-growth. It is moving in the opposite direction. And that must be reversed, and it’s going to take tax reform, and it’s going to take regulatory reform. It’s going to take a serious move toward energy independence, and…a reflection on our relative position in the world, to look at where we are, to analyze it carefully, to say the most important thing for foreign policy that we could be doing right now is to build our core right here at home.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Potential Presidential Contender Huntsman Criticizes China's Human Rights Record 

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(SHANGHAI, China) -- United States Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman delivered a “farewell” speech in Shanghai on Wednesday, less than a month before he is expected to leave his post there to begin campaigning for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

In his remarks, Hunstman chastised the Chinese government for its human rights record and called for closer cooperation between the two countries, lamenting that “too often, divisions dominate our discourse and sap our ability to work together.”

“The United States will never stop supporting human rights because we believe in the fundamental struggle for human dignity and justice wherever it may occur,” Huntsman said. “We do so not because we oppose China but, on the contrary, because we value our relationship.”

He mentioned American scientist Dr. Feng Xue, who he said “was wrongfully convicted of stealing state secrets and is now serving an eight-year sentence in prison far from his family in the United States,” as well as social activists like Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who is imprisoned in the country, as well as Ai Weiwei, a Beijing artist who was taken into custody by Chinese authorities last weekend.

Hunstman commended Liu, Ai and others like them who “challenge the Chinese government to serve the public in all cases and at all times.”

“By speaking out candidly,” he noted, “we hope eventually to narrow and bridge this critical gap and move our relationship forward.”

The comments were said to be unusually critical for a U.S. diplomat in China.

Speculation has been swirling for months that Huntsman, who announced earlier this year that he was leaving his diplomatic post in China on April 30, will throw his hat into the presidential ring. A team of supporters have formed a political action committee, Horizon PAC, to function as a kind of campaign-in-waiting for the ambassador, who is at present legally unable to engage in campaign activity. Sources close to the PAC believe he’s all but certain to run.

Here’s at least one clue about his presidential ambitions: less than a month after he returns from Beijing, Huntsman plans to travel in New Hampshire, a crucial early nominating state, to deliver a commencement speech at Southern New Hampshire University. That speech, announced yesterday, is scheduled for May 21 in Manchester.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio