Faced with the challenges of bilateral economic and diplomatic complex between China and the United States, Mr. Locke said he wanted to work with the Chinese government to expand the bilateral cooperation and collaboration.
Locke made the remarks at a news conference Sunday afternoon, it was his first public appearance since his arrival in Beijing on Friday night. Locke’s wife, Mona Lee and their three children were with him during the press conference.
Asked about his goals for the coming months, Mr. Locke said that the most important thing was to “promote a stronger and better understanding between American and Chinese people,” “so that more Americans understand China, its glorious contribution to world civilization in history, its challenges and the tremendous progress that China has achieved in such a short period,” he said.
He also stressed “the unique history, culture and philosophy” of China, which are different from those of the United States and must be understood so the two countries can build a more cooperative and mutually beneficial relation.
As a democrat, Mr. Locke was elected the 21st governor of Washington State in 1996, becoming the first Chinese-American governor in the history of the United States. He was reelected in 2000. President Barack Obama appointed him as U.S. Commerce Secretary in February 2009.
August 14, 2011
Press Gathering at the Ambassador’s Residence
Remarks by Gary Locke
U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China
AMBASSADOR LOCKE AT RESIDENCE PRESS GATHERING
Welcome to the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. Thank you all very much for coming here on a hot Sunday afternoon in Beijing – don’t worry, we have some refreshments waiting for you.
Let me begin by saying how deeply honored I am to have this opportunity to serve the President and the people of the United States of America. My wife Mona and our children Emily, Dylan, and Madeline are all very excited to move here to Beijing to build new friendships between the people of the United States and China and to continue to expand our two countries’ growing cooperation on key bilateral and international issues.
The United States and China have a profoundly important and complex diplomatic and economic bilateral relationship – one with challenges, no question, but one which also holds great promise for expanded 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 to which President Obama and President Hu aspire.
Our two countries have already had a busy year. President Hu had a successful state visit to the United States in January. That was followed by the third round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in May. Secretary Gates also made an important visit to China in January, and Secretary Clinton met with State Councilor Dai in Shenzhen just a few weeks ago. And as you all know, next week, we will be welcoming Vice President Joe Biden, who will visit Beijing and Chengdu. The Vice President was one of the first U.S. senators to visit China back in 1979, and we look forward to welcoming him back.
On a personal level, I am both humbled and honored to stand here before you as a child of Chinese immigrants representing America, the land of my birth, and the American values my family holds dear. 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. My parents, my wife, our children – we all personally represent America and America’s promise as a land of freedom, equality, and opportunity. And it is that enduring promise and those values that I will represent in my official capacity serving the President and the American people as the United States ambassador to China.
Our family is embarking on an adventure and a challenge, and we are eager to re-connect with our old Chinese friends and make many more new ones. Thank you very much for joining us today.