The newly-arrived U.S. ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, says his top
priority is to take the U.S.-China relationship to "new heights,"
despite lingering and inevitable differences between the two
Huntsman's 23-year-old daughter, Mary Anne, Saturday serenaded
journalists with a Rachmaninoff etude. The Huntsman family had just
arrived in Beijing less than 24 hours before, so this was her first
time playing the grand piano in the ambassador's formal living room.
Huntsman said he is delighted to be in China - in English and in Mandarin Chinese.
appeared before reporters with his wife, Mary Kaye, and three of their
seven children. His two youngest daughters are adopted - three year
old Asha is from India and 10-year old Gracie May is from China.
new U.S. ambassador acknowledged that in the past, the U.S.-China
relationship has been plagued by differences over issues such as human
"Sometimes, when we had difficulties and challenges,
the relationship has come to a stop," he said. "And the work hasn't
been able to get done. And that's not only unfortunate for people in
the U.S. and China, but it's unfortunate for the people throughout the
rest of Asia, all of whom depend on a good U.S.-China relationship."
said he believes the U.S.-China relationship has to transcend the
disagreements, which he stressed will always be there, and instead
focus on shared interests.
"Specifically, when you look at
energy and climate change, regional security and global economy, if
we're going to tackle all of those successfully, by definition, we
would have risen to new heights," said Huntsman.
Huntsman pointed out that 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of Sino-American ties.
said U.S. President Barack Obama is set to visit China in November, and
that he is confident that by the end of the year, the US-China
relationship will be "stronger than ever before."