The United States of America today appointed Gary Locke as the next Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.
At the swearing-in ceremony for Ambassador to China, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Ambassador Locke is the right person to follow through on the commitment made by President Obama and President Hu Jintao to a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship.
“And I am especially grateful to Gary’s and Mona and their children and to all of you for your patience and persistence in ensuring that we would be here at the swearing-in of Gary Locke as our ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton said Ambassador Locke is going to Beijing at a time when there will be a lot of work for the United State to do to follow up on with the Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
She highlighted that Ambassador Locke takes with him, the son of an immigrant family from China who didn’t learn to speak English until he started school. His grandfather came to the United States from China in the 1890s and worked as a house servant in return for English lessons. His father and mother worked in their mom-and-pop grocery seven days a week, 365 days a year, so their five children would have better lives.
“The Locke family understood what the American dream meant. They knew that it was an opportunity and not a guarantee, and that they had to do their part to be able to take advantage of what this country offered.” -Ms. Clinton
She stated that Ambassador Locke was an honor student, an Eagle Scout, scholarships, all kinds of experiences at Yale and getting his law degree at Boston University. He then returned to Washington to become a state representative and a county executive of King County and a two-time governor of Washington State, until recently, when he became our Secretary of Commerce.
“Gary’s hard work didn’t just help his family. He helped improve the lives of the people of Washington and of the United States. He was a great job creator in Washington during two national recessions. He has helped to lead our efforts to increase U.S. exports.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton commended Ambassador Locke as he brought the Census in on time and under budget, an unheard of accomplishment. She added Mr. Locke’s comprehensive patent reform legislation closer to passage than it has in decades.
“And there’s just so much else that can be pointed to in such a history of distinction in his many public service responsibilities. And now, he becomes the first Chinese American to represent the United States as ambassador in Beijing.” -Ms. Clinton
Gas Locke was born on January 21, 1950 in Seattle, Washington. He is a third-generation American with paternal ancestry from Taishan, Guangdong, in China.