Gary Locke will be new U.S. ambassador to China

Many are interpreting this move as another push by the Obama administration to push China on trade.

President Barack Obama has chosen Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to succeed Jon Huntsman as U.S. ambassador to China – signaling a more focused White House effort to press Asia’s emerging economic superpower on trade issues, according to administration officials.

Obama could make the announcement as soon as Tuesday, a senior administration official said, adding that the president has yet to settle on a list of possible replacements for Locke, a former two-term governor of Washington. Locke’s departure from the cabinet had long been rumored.

Locke, 51, is a third generation Chinese-American with roots in Hong Kong and China’s coastal Guangdong province – and the first person of Chinese ancestry to serve as a U.S. governor. He is fluent in Cantonese and didn’t speak English until he was five years old.

This will be a huge campaign issue, and any progress will help the Obama administration. It will be interesting to see how the Chinese respond.

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