Observers on both sides of the Pacific have different opinions on whether Republican Jon Huntsman's experience in China is an asset or liability as the former US ambassador to China declared his candidacy for the 2012 presidential race.
Huntsman's rich experience with China is actually one of his largest political assets, especially compared to Mitt Romney, his biggest rival among conservatives, said Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Huntsman, whose most recent posting was as US ambassador to China for nearly two years, officially declared his presidential candidacy on Tuesday.
Ni said: "Huntsman knows China well, and knows the importance of maintaining a good relationship with China. He didn't do anything that irritated the US Congress as the ambassador. So I think this is going to be an advantage for Huntsman, because Washington is certainly taking its relations with Beijing as one of the most important bilateral relationships."
In declaring his candidacy, Huntsman stressed that he is "a real conservative" who believes that the "best long-term national security strategy is rebuilding our core here at home".
Huntsman also invoked an icon of the Republican Party by choosing to make his announcement at New Jersey's Liberty State Park, the same place where Ronald Reagan had declared his presidential candidacy in 1980.
However, some observers said that he will likely downplay his posting as US ambassador to China to distance himself from President Barack Obama in order not to alienate Republican voters.
1. When will the presidential race take place?
2. What political party does Huntsman belong to?
3. Where did Ronald Regan announce his presidential candidacy?
3. New Jersey Liberty State Park.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.