Former Chinese ambassador expects Locke to better bridge China-U.S. relations

10:09, March 13, 2011      

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Former Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Zhou Wenzhong said Saturday that he hoped Gary Locke, the newly nominated U.S. ambassador to China, to play a better bridging role between China and the U.S..

He expected Locke, with his ethnic background, will help the U.S. government view China's development in a "rational, calm and objective manner," Zhou told Xinhua.

"His ethnic background will be helpful for him to understand Chinese history and culture, and play a better bridging role in China-U.S. relations," said Zhou, who was Chinese ambassador to the U.S. from April, 2005, to March last year.

Locke's grandfather and father were born in China.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday formally nominated Commerce Secretary Locke to be the next U.S. ambassador to China, saying that no one was better qualified for the diplomatic post than Locke.

If approved by the U.S. Senate, 61-year-old Locke would succeed Jon Huntsman, who is expected to end his tenure at the end of April. Locke would be the first Chinese-American to hold the post.

Locke has kept close touch with China and established a good relationship during his tenure as the governor of the state of Washington and U.S. Commerce Secretary, contributing to the healthy development of China-U.S. relations, Zhou said.

"The nomination indicates the U.S. government attaches great importance to its relationship with China", he said.

The decision to nominate a trade official as the ambassador to China also showed U.S. government's expectation to advance trade between the two nations and expand U.S. exports to China, he added.

"To expand exports to China, the U.S. can't simply reply on an ambassador," he said, noting the problem is that the U.S. has not lifted restrictions on exports to China.

"They don't sell what we want, and we can't buy more what they want to sell," he said.

The U.S. should also improve its investment environment to reduce overall trade deficit, he added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday that China welcomes the U.S. government nomination of Gary Locke as the new ambassador to China, hoping he will help strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Source: Xinhua
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