Gary Locke, U.S. Commerce Secretary, is likely to be appointed the next Ambassador to China, according to reports. The White House said President Barack Obama might announce Mr. Locke's nomination later on Wednesday. The nomination follows the retirement of Jon Huntsman. Mr. Huntsman is rumoured to be considering joining the 2012 Republican presidential primary race.
Mr. Locke was formerly the Governor of Washington State, and only the second ever Asian-American Governor in U.S. history.
As Commerce Secretary, the Chinese-American Mr. Locke played a key role in advancing the U.S.' trade with India, travelling to India both with Mr. Obama last November and again as part of a trade delegation in February.
AFP reports: “I can think of no one that is more qualified than Gary Locke,” MR. Obama said, celebrating Mr. Locke's personal story as the grandson of a Chinese immigrant to the United States.