BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke said Friday a stronger U.S. economy is in China’s interest and he will promote trade and human rights as the new envoy in Beijing, a focal point for U.S. diplomacy.
“The highest priority of the United States today is to create jobs for Americans and revitalize our economy. Given our economic interdependence, a stronger American economy is in the economic self-interest of the Chinese people,” he said to university students.
A former governor of Washington and commerce secretary, Locke is the first Chinese-American to hold the post. It’s become increasingly important as China’s economy, now the world’s second-largest, grows steadily, and the United States fitfully copes with high unemployment.
China and the United States are not engaged in a zero-sum competition, where the failure of one means the rise of the other, Locke told about 400 students at the university that is a training ground for students aiming at international careers in government and business.
“So many problems in the world today — from climate change, to poverty and disease — simply will not be solved without strong U.S.-China cooperation. That’s why I’d like to state unequivocally that the United States welcomes the rise of a prosperous and successful China that plays a greater role in world affairs,” he said.
Locke repeated past U.S. comments that in the long run, countries that respect human rights are the most successful and stable.