Gary Locke sworn in as new US envoy to China

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has been sworn in as the new U.S. ambassador to China, becoming the first Chinese-American to hold the post, which has become a focal point for U.S. and international diplomacy.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton officiated at Locke's Monday swearing-in ceremony at the State Department. She praised the ex-two-term governor of Washington state for his hard work on behalf of the American people and said he was the right person to manage the "extraordinarily important" relationship the U.S. has with China.

Locke was easily confirmed to the position by the Senate in a voice vote. As the top U.S. envoy in Beijing, he replaces Jon Huntsman, who resigned to seek the Republican presidential nomination to challenge President Barack Obama next year.