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Clinton: Huntsman soon to be ambassador to China
By Bao Daozu (
Updated: 2009-07-29 13:37

WASHINGTON DC: The United States will have "very soon" a new ambassador to China as Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's nomination may be confirmed Tuesday night, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a grand dinner the US business, political and civil leaders threw for the Chinese delegation involving the just-ended first round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Clinton: Huntsman soon to be ambassador to China


China Ambassador-designate Jon Huntsman smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 23, 2009, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. [Agencies]

Huntsman appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last Thursday. "I am confident that he will do an exceptional job representing our country at a pivotal moment in US-China relations," the committee's Chairman John Kerry said.

Senator Jim Webb said that the hearing on Huntsman's nomination as US ambassador to China underscores the call for a comprehensive strategy to guide US diplomacy in Asia, particularly in devising a response to China's growing power in the region.

"Maintaining the strategic balance in Asia is essential to protecting our interests and the interests of some of our closest allies and partners," Webb said.

The senator put a lot of critical issues on Huntsman's plate. They include the course of military modernization, economic restructuring, trade disputes, environmental pollution, human rights and religious freedom.

"As China's national power grows, the United States has a key interest in ensuring the well-being of the region and the ability of states to develop in a fair and unfettered way," Webb said.

He took the US-Japan alliance central to the US security role in the region.

The Utah governor said he will maximize the cooperation between the two countries.

He said he wants to foster a better military relationship that would lead to "a better understanding of intentions of budgetary priorities."

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He promised not to back away from the diplomatically sensitive issues.

"The promotion of human rights is an essential element of American global foreign policy, and if confirmed, I look forward to robust engagement with China on human rights," he said, promising not only to express concerns about individual instances but also to push for bigger ways to support citizen-driven efforts to strengthen civil society.

Huntsman vowed to "regularize" how the US talks to China about human rights, "so it is not a once-per-year discussion where the talking points were pulled out."