gary locke officially sworn in as u.s. ambassador to china

With his confirmation squared away last week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke formally resigned today and was sworn-in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the next U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China: Clinton swears in Gary Locke as new US envoy to China, first Chinese-American to hold post.

Here's the official press release from the Department of Commerce: U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Resigns and Becomes the Next U.S. Ambassador to China. And here's a transcript of remarks from the swearing-in ceremony: Remarks at Swearing-In Ceremony for Ambassador to China Gary Locke.
AMBASSADOR LOCKE: Well, thank you very much, Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Marshall for presiding, and all of our honored guests – Ambassador Sasser, I see Carla Hills here, members of the Cabinet, Ron Kirk, and also Fred Hochberg of the Export-Import Bank, Chris Liu of the White House, and a lot of colleagues from the Department of Commerce, and friends and family from the West Coast. It’s great to all have you here.

I’m really deeply humbled and honored to become the next United States ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. And I’d like to thank President Obama, Secretary Clinton, the United States Senate, for their support, their confidence, and their trust in me. I also want recognize and thank ChargĂ© d’Affaires Deng from the People’s Republic of China, and many other friends and colleagues who are here today. With my family – my wife Mona and our children Emily, Dylan, and Madeline – we’re excited to have this opportunity to serve the President and the people of the United States of America.

The United States and China have a profoundly important and complex diplomatic, economic, and strategic bilateral relationship – one with challenges, no question, but one which also holds great promise for extended cooperation and collaboration. I look forward to working with the Chinese Government to fulfill that promise, but more importantly, to build the positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship that President Obama and President Hu have agreed that our two countries should aspire to. We are already seeing examples of how this future can play out as our businesses and our governments collaborate to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. And I fully intend to support our ongoing bilateral and cooperative efforts on a host of critical international issues from climate change to the search for new, cleaner sources of energy, to stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials, and to promote new areas of collaboration.

It’s been my good fortune over the past decade to have had the opportunity to visit and meet with many Chinese Government officials and private sector executives in support of greater commercial cooperation and market access for U.S. goods and services. I look forward to continuing this dialogue, creating win-win scenarios for both of our countries, because American businesses and workers can help China meet its goals of modernization as well as improving the quality of life for the Chinese people, all at the same time creating jobs here at home for workers of America.

In those sensitive areas where America and China have differences or serious disagreement, I will work to keep the lines of communication open, to convey the Administration’s positions clearly, and to engage with Chinese Government officials at the highest levels. At the same time, I hope to do more to communicate directly with the Chinese people to improve understanding between our two great nations.

I firmly believe improved U.S.-China cooperation is critically important, not just for our own two countries but for the world community. As a child of Chinese immigrants growing up in the State of Washington, having the opportunity to represent America, the land of my birth, and to represent American values was surely beyond any dream I could possibly have. And I can only imagine just how proud my dad, Jimmy, who passed away in January, would be for his son to be the first Chinese American to represent the United States in the land of his and my mother’s birth. It may be clichĂ© to say only in America, but in this case and for this role, it is both profoundly true and profoundly important. It is America and America’s promise as a land of freedom, equality, and opportunity that I will represent when serving the President and the American people as the United States ambassador to China.

Let me just say that I can’t end without acknowledging the great team and colleagues I’ve had at the Department of Commerce. It’s been one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. And our folks at the Department of Commerce, both the political and the career, have done amazing work. And I am just so proud of the opportunity to have worked with them.

And finally, my success in government is due to Mona. Secretary Clinton talks about the pre-Mona days. (Laughter.) Some of you here know that. I hope you all agree that the after-Mona days are much, much better. (Laughter and applause.) But my success in government is due to Mona, and she has been a constant, an incredible confidante, advisor, and has really kept me true and straight. In fact, I think that – I remember during the campaign for governor, so many people wrote us and said, “I’m voting for you only because of Mona.” (Laughter.) And I truly believe that for me to be successful in representing the United States in China, it will have to be a team collaborative effort with Mona. She has incredible instincts, incredible compass, and completely grounded in our family. And I thank you for your love and that support.

Our family is embarking on an adventure and a challenge, and we are eager to begin. Thank you very much for joining us today. (Applause.)
Congratulations, Ambassador Locke. And best wishes to your family.

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