Lookout, Beijing, there’s a new American
sheriff ambassador in town. Democrat Gary Locke (骆家辉), a third-generation Chinese-American with ancestral roots in Taishan (台山), Guangdong, has just been confirmed as the newest American ambassador to China, replacing current Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. Locke (no relation to the Father of Liberalism) was a former two-term governor of the great state of Washington, and is to this day still the only American politician of Asian descent to ever serve as governor.
Locke is leaving his position as Secretary of Commerce, having been a member of Obama’s cabinet from the beginning of the President’s term. The Seattle native has served as one of two prominent Chinese Secretaries in the current administration, the other being Nobel Prize-winning Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
Politically, Locke has made a habit of being a pioneer, often becoming the first Chinese or Asian-American in a variety of positions. His tenure as Governor of Washington from 1996-2005 saw the state through an incredible boom period, when Microsoft and Boeing were world-renown brands, Starbucks was just beginning to rear its yuppie-gratifying head around the globe, and Frasier made everyone think that Kelsey Grammer was actually an appealing individual.
We have to applaud
the silver-tongued one’s Obama’s decision to anoint Locke as ambassador, as Locke is already quite the popular figure in certain Chinese circles. We’re assuming the Chinese leadership is collectively thinking, ‘Oh, I see what you did there,’ in regards to an ethnic Chinese being anointed as the official representative for truth, justice, and the American basket of trade agreements (however, Locke is monolingual in English only).
We’ll also be looking forward to seeing whether Locke fulfills his promise he made in front of the senate, to “clearly and firmly advocate for upholding universal rights in China.”
Regardless, we expect Locke to at least have the presence of mind to not walk into Wangfujing (while wearing a jacket sporting the American flag) during web-organized protest gatherings calling for democracy. Duh.