. Military Space News .

US Senate confirms Locke as China ambassador
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) July 27, 2011

Former US commerce secretary Gary Locke won unanimous Senate confirmation Wednesday as ambassador to Beijing, becoming the first Chinese American to hold the prestigious and difficult diplomatic post.

Locke, whose grandfather came from China to the United States on a steamboat, promised during his smooth confirmation hearings to be a forceful advocate for human rights and for US businesses.

The new envoy succeeds Republican former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who left Beijing some three months ago and has mounted a run against former boss President Barack Obama in the November 2012 elections.

Locke, 61, takes over at a time of tensions in US-China relations, which have been fraught over a range of disputes including Beijing's export-driven economic policies, growing military spending and human rights record.

And US lawmakers, locked in an angry debate over cash-strapped Washington's debt, have increasingly expressed concern at China's status as the country's largest foreign creditor.

Senators approved Locke by voice vote.

He grew up in Seattle's public housing projects and worked his way through Yale University, eventually becoming a prosecutor and the governor of Washington state. He had been commerce secretary since 2009.

During his Senate confirmation hearings, Locke said he would use his personal story to reach out to China's people, but vowed not to shy away from sensitive issues like his "vigorous disagreement" with Beijing's leaders on human rights.

"The protection and the promotion of liberty and freedom are fundamental tenets of US foreign policy, and if confirmed, I will clearly and firmly advocate for upholding universal rights in China," he said.

Locke, pointing to his work in Obama's cabinet, said he would also fight for US businesses by pressing for protection of intellectual property and for the right of foreign firms to compete for government contracts.

Under questioning by senators, Locke said he would put a top priority on non-proliferation and that Beijing "can, definitely, and must do more" to rein in North Korea -- whose reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il recently visited China.

Senators also voiced concerns about China's military strength against Taiwan and the value of its currency, which critics accuse Beijing of keeping artificially low to boost exports at the expense of US firms.

Locke recognized that China has let the yuan appreciate but said: "We, of course, think that it should float more and faster."

At the time of his nomination in March, China had welcomed the prospects of his arrival in Beijing.

"China-US relations are highly important. We hope the new US ambassador to China will play a positive role in promoting greater development in bilateral relations," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.

After his arrival in the United States, Locke's grandfather worked for a family as their houseboy in return for English lessons.

"China is a nation they would hardly recognize from their childhoods," Locke, who has traveled frequently to China, said of his ancestors.

"It's a country filled with ultra-modern cities, where hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty. The administration welcomes a strong, prosperous and successful China.

"But this new status comes with important responsibilities. This administration seeks to engage China on regional and global affairs to advance international peace and stability in ways consistent with prevailing international norms, rules and institutions," he continued.

Locke's confirmation came as Chinese state-run media reported that Beijing has demanded that the United States stop spy plane flights near the Chinese coast, saying they have "severely harmed" trust between the two countries.

The comments came after Taiwan media reported two Chinese fighter jets attempted to scare off an American U2 reconnaissance plane that was collecting intelligence on China while flying along the Taiwan Strait in late June.

The Business Roundtable hailed Locke's confirmation, with president John Engler saying the association looked forward "to working with him to advance the interests of US businesses and workers" at "a pivotal time" in Sino-US ties.

And Democratic Representative Mike Honda, a friend of Locke's, said "Gary will represent us well in all economic, social and environmental policy-related conversations with China."

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Asia security needs India, Australia says
Washington (AFP) July 27, 2011
Australia's defense minister on Wednesday urged a greater role in Asia for India, calling the world's largest democracy a positive force in a region where attention has long been focused on China. Defense Minister Stephen Smith made his appeal in Washington one week after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke along similar lines during a visit to India, which she said had "the potentia ... read more

US senators voice worry over radar deal with Turkey

New Missile Warning Satellite Delivers First Infrared Imagery

STSS Demonstration Satellites Demo New Remote Cueing Capabilities During Aegis Test

Israel to join U.S. Mideast missile shield

Lockheed Martin JASSM Lot 8 Software Validated During Flight Test

Iran says fired missiles into Indian Ocean

Northrop Grumman-Led ICBM Prime Integration Team Participates in Test Launch of Minuteman III Missile

Taiwan testfires own sub-launched missile: report

HALE-D Demonstrated During Abbreviated Flight

Germany gets first Euro Hawk

Global Hawk Completes First Full System Flight With MP-RTIP Sensor

First Euro Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System Touches Down in Germany

USAF Approves Production of NGC Deployable Digital Wireless System for Remote Warfighters

Raytheon BBN Technologies Awarded DoD Contract to Develop a Secure, Attributed Military Network System

Northrop Grumman's On-Demand Intelligence System Used for the First Time

Lockheed Martin Team Delivers Joint Tactical Radio to the U.S. Government for Integration into First Aircraft Platform

Australia orders more Thales simulators

Lockheed Martin F-35 Flight Test Progress Report

Turkey to export mine-resistant vehicles

Boeing Delivers UAE Air Force and Air Defence 3rd C-17

Brazil's Azul adds European jets to fleet

Britain boosts helicopter manufacturing

Bangladesh orders Ruag Dornier turboprops

EADS first-half net profit down 41% to 109 mln euros

US Senate confirms Locke as China ambassador

Asia security needs India, Australia says

Outside View: An uncommon defense, Part 2

Commentary: Restoration Doctrine

Boeing and BAE Systems to Develop Integrated Directed Energy Weapon for US Navy

System Integration of High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator Completed

Raytheon Acquires Directed Energy Capabilities of Ktech Corporation

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement