The U.S. Senate today confirmed former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as ambassador to China. He is the first Chinese American ever to have been confirmed to the post. From Xinhua News:
Locke, 61, won unanimous confirmation in the Senate voice vote. He succeeds Jon Huntsman, a Republican who has resigned to run for the White House in 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama tapped Locke for the post on March 9, saying that no one is better qualified for the diplomatic post than Locke.
At a May 26 Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on his nomination, Locke called “a sign of the importance of the bilateral relationship” between U.S. and China. Obama’s nomination of a current member of his cabinet to serve in the new post vacated when Huntsman left for home in April.