Christian Living

chinaconnection 02/24/09

Obama Likely to Nominate First Chinese American Commerce Secretary

President Obama's search for a commerce secretary has proven significantly more difficult than he initially hoped.  Both Bill Richardson and Judd Gregg withdrew their names, but hopefully the third time's a charm.  According to White House officials, the president is expected to announce former Washington governor Gary Locke as his commerce secretary pick.

Locke's potential appointment as commerce secretary would be a huge victory for many Chinese Americans who adamantly opposed the appointment of Bill Richardson.  Locke's heritage and extensive experience in China are two of the qualities that make his nomination especially appealing to the Chinese community.

He was the first Chinese-American governor, and specialized on China and energy issues while working at a Seattle-based law firm.  He even ran in the Olympic torch relay last summer and has met with Chinese president Hu Jintao.   

Although this nomination is expected within the next two days, Locke has been briefly linked to some political fundraising scandals, though he's been cleared of any wrongdoing.  

The fact that this probable appointment will directly follow Sec. Clinton's successful trip to China may bode well for China-U.S. relations.  Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu maintains that the visit resulted in "positive results" that "will help the bilateral relations develop in a sound and stable manner in a new era."

Time will tell whether or not this prediction is true, but relations seem to be off to a friendly start.      

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