New U.S. ambassador seeks to define shared interests with China
www.chinaview.cn 2009-08-26 21:37:22   Print

New U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman speaks to Xinhua reporters during an interview in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 26, 2009. Huntsman pledged Wednesday to have a clear view of the shared interests between the United States and China.(Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
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    BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- New U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who arrived in Beijing on Friday, pledged Wednesday to have a clear view of the shared interests between the United States and China.

    "Part of what we will do in the next few years is to carefully define what are the shared interests," Huntsman said.

    Speaking English and Chinese in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Huntsman characterized the U.S.-China relationship as "the most important in the world."

    "We need to recognize such importance," he added.

    The United States and China would find a lot more shared interests as the two countries looked to solve significant global problems, he said, referring to climate change, energy, regional security, and the global economy.

    "When President Obama called me to his office, he mentioned he believes (the Unites States and China) could do more in terms of problem solving on global issues and I think this is rather unprecedented."

New U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman speaks to Xinhua reporters during an interview in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 26, 2009.(Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
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    Huntsman was nominated by President Barack Obama as ambassador to China in May and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in early August.

    "I think this presidency, more than any other before, will very much be defined by the U.S. and China together tackling global challenging issues and it's a function of the U.S. and China carefully defining what our shared interests are," Huntsman said.

    "Now it's up to ambassadors, foreign ministries, to be able to communicate and to define which issues are the most important in our relationship," the ambassador added.

    Huntsman's China experience started in early 1980s when he visited Beijing as a White House staff assistant in the Reagan administration.

    Since then, he has led trade missions to China and adopted a Chinese daughter from east China's Yangzhou city in 1999.

    Huntsman has also served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore before and was governor of Utah from 2005 until his resignation to serve as an ambassador to China on Aug. 11.

    As ambassador, Huntsman said the biggest challenge was to keep the bilateral relationship focused on priorities, and not to get side-tracked or lose consistency of growth.

    "Once you carefully define what the priority issues are, you don't want to get side-tracked. You have to stay focused on things like the global economy and trade, finance, energy and climate-related issues, and things like regional security and our human rights dialogue this year," he said.

    He called for the both nations to "transcend disagreements, difficulties and challenges," and work together to solve significant global problems.

    "Our job is to very intelligently, comprehensively, and very positively, outline what the priorities would be. That's what we are working on now."

    Huntsman said he would invite his friends in the U.S. congress as well as state governors to visit China because "they have to sense on the ground the real change that has occurred and the energy and the vibrancy of the country". Only then could they understand the important interests the two countries shared.

    Huntsman quipped that he and his adopted daughter were both ambassadors.

    "She is only 10 years old, but I told her she is Chinese raised in America coming back to China and is a bridge between China and the United States.

    "I am the formal ambassador appointed by my country and she is the unofficial ambassador, but nevertheless she will understand both sides," Huntsman said.

Editor: Lin Zhi
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