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China, U.S. determined to further ties as U.S. Senate approves new ambassador

07-28-2011 17:10 BJT

BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States remain determined to further promote bilateral ties, after the U.S. Senate cleared the way for the first Chinese Amercian to take up the post of ambassador to Beijing Wednesday.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke attends a hearing on his nomination to be the U.S. Ambassador to China before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, May 26, 2011. (Xinhua File Photo)

The U.S. Senate unanimously ratified President Barack Obama's nomination of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as the new envoy to China, as a successor to Republican Jon Huntsman who quit the post to run for president.

Locke, a member of the U.S. Cabinet, is the first Chinese-American to assume the major diplomatic post. His appointment is expected to facilitate exchanges between China and the United States.

During his previous roles as commerce secretary and governor of Washington state, Locke was noticeably successful in boosting trade and economic ties with China.

In this sense, Locke, rich in political experience, is the right man for the job, as an ambassador's main task is to enhance bilateral ties.

During Chinese President Hu Jintao's U.S. visit in January, both countries were committed in a joint communique to building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and benefit to promote their common interests and to address the 21st century's opportunities and challenges.

The communique is a new milestone in the development of China-U.S. ties, and arrival of the new ambassador is likely to reinforce the trend of the two countries becoming closer.

"Our relationship with China is one of the most critical of the 21st century. As the grandson of a Chinese immigrant who went on to live the American dream, Gary is the right person to continue this cooperation," Obama said upon nominating Locke as the new U.S. top diplomat to China on March 9.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu responded a day later, saying that China welcomed the nomination. "The relationship between China and the United States is very important. And we hope the new ambassador plays a positive role in advancing the development of China-U.S. relations," she said.

China and the United States' positive response to Locke's nomination shows both sides are optimistic about further strengthening bilateral cooperation and friendly ties.

However, differences between the two countries mean that the job is no picnic. Disagreements remain on many issues, including trade and human rights, some of which concern China's core interests.

Therefore, Locke is being given the herculean task of helping to reach more U.S.-China consensus and solve U.S.-China disputes.

Despite the differences, the two countries should continue to boost bilateral ties based on mutual respect and common interests. After all, a closer China-U.S. relationship is not only in the fundamental interest of the two peoples, but beneficial for the Asia-Pacific region as well as the whole world.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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