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US, not China, inspires world: Huntsman

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 7, 2011
Potential Republican White House contender Jon Huntsman on Saturday told Americans worried about Beijing's rise that the United States remains "the envy of the world."

"We are still as full of potential as ever," Huntsman, whose term as ambassador to Beijing ended in April, told students graduating from the University of South Carolina.

"Our free and open society that can respectfully embrace debate, coupled with a free market system that rewards risk and innovation, is still the envy of the world," he said.

Huntsman, who is also a former governor of Utah, answered Republican critics who assail him for serving in the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama.

"Work to keep America great," he urged the students. "Serve her, if asked. I was, by a president of a different political party."

"But in the end, while we might not all be of one party, we are all part of one nation, a nation that needs your generational gift of energy and confidence," he said.

Huntsman was well regarded in China, and as ambassador he helped Washington navigate a thorny time in relations between the world's top two economies.

Among Republican voters, however, he is not well known: a mid-April Gallup poll found that just 21 percent of them knew Huntsman's name, against 82 percent for possible rival and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a fellow Mormon.

Other potential Republican candidates in 2012 include former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Huntsman chided Americans "who have lost confidence and think that China is the next big thing" and "many in China who think their time has come, that America's best days are over."

"When the oppressed are fighting autocratic regimes, they look to America for inspiration," he said. "When overseas entrepreneurs build companies, they still look to US practices as the gold standard."

Analysts say Huntsman's biggest hurdle in securing a Republican presidential bid will be winning over archconservative "Tea Party" movement voters sure to shape the Republican primaries.

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Australian FM: Bring China into system
Washington (AFP) May 3, 2011
Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd pressed Tuesday for a global effort to bring China into institutions, saying that the future of the world economy depended on it. Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking China expert and former prime minister, said that bodies such as the Group of 20 major economies and the East Asia Summit could put Beijing on the right path as its power grows. "Continued region ... read more

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