US President Barack Obama on Saturday named Utah Governor Jon Huntsman the new U.S. ambassador to China.
Video grab of C-span shows Utah's Republican Governor Jon Huntsman devlivering a speech after being nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama as U.S. ambassador to China, at the White House in Washington, May 16, 2009. [Xinhua]
"I'm extraordinarily pleased to announce that Jon Huntsman would be our ambassador to China. And I cannot think of a more important assignment that is creating the kind of bridges between our two countries that would determine the well-being of not just Americans and Chinese but also the future of world," Obama said at a White House press conference with Huntsman and his wife standing nearby.
Obama said that Huntsman, who speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, is well prepared to build the kind of partnership that reflects a new understanding between the United States and China.
"When Jon Huntsman represents the United States in China, I'm confident that we'll be launching a new era of partnership between our two nations that will advance our shared dreams and opportunity and security in America, Asia and around the world," Obama said.
Huntsman, 49, a Republican who was elected governor of Utah in 2004 and reelected in 2008, served as ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and as deputy U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush.
If confirmed by the Senate, Huntsman, a potential GOP presidential contender in 2012, will succeed Clark Randt who has served as ambassador to China since 2001.
Huntsman attended the University of Utah and received a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Pennsylvania.
Huntsman and his wife have seven children, including a daughter adopted in China.
(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2009)