The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's nomination as ambassador to China.
The Committee also endorsed President Barack Obama's pick of campaign fund-raiser and lawyer John Roos as U.S. ambassador to Japan.
The endorsement by the Committee paved the way for a vote by the full Senate, the date of which remains unclear.
Huntsman, 49, was appointed by President Obama as new U.S. ambassador to China in May. He is a Republican who was elected governor of Utah in 2004 and reelected in 2008. He served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore during the administration of President George Bush and as deputy U.S. trade representative during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Huntsman attended the University of Utah and received a bachelor's degree in business from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania after transferring to that school. He can speak fluent Mandarin Chinese.
(Xinhua News Agency August 5, 2009)