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Benxi, China

Benxi, China

President Obama has nominated Utah Governor Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China. Huntsman must now go through Congressional approval, but that is likely to be no problem.



Mr Huntsman was a Mormon missionary to Taiwan and speaks fluent Mandarin.  He has an adopted Chinese daughter and an adopted Indian daughter, in addition to his own five biological children.  He was a former ambassador to Singapore.  It appears he has pretty good experience and exposure to Asian cultures.   He also has experience as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce under GHW Bush.  He has a degree in Business from University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to his business education and his exposure to the DOC, he has promoted environmental responsibility and could potentially help China address its environmental problems. 

I like this particular nomination because Huntsman is well-educated and has business savvy.  He also seems to have a realistic view of the environment.  I think the Chinese will like this appointment, too.  After all, he speaks the official language of the Chinese government and is a conservative, business-oriented person.

The most important issue for Hunt to work on with the Chinese will be the balancing act required between business and the environment.  It is urgent that China addresses its environmental issues and at the same time, try to stave off the global recession through sustaining at least 8% growth.  Without a minimum of 8%, China could fall into a deep depression with rippling effects across the globe and devastating effects for the people of China.  But along with sustained growth, must come better control of pollution. 

Traditionally, growth in industry has meant concurrent growth in pollution for every country, including the US during our own industrial revolution.  But times must change.  This time, economic growth must be matched with negative pollution growth.

Huntsman will have a big challenge on his hands.  I hope he is up to it


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