Jon Huntsman on China, U.S. & the Presidential Race

Former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman talked to Foreign Policy’s Isaac Stone Fish about China-bashing campaign rhetoric, Sino-U.S. relations and political sensitivities in China ahead of its looming leadership transition:

FP: Are you surprised that China hasn’t become a bigger issue in the campaign?

JH: Beyond it being used as a political tool rhetorically, we’ve had very little talk of China at a time when we ought to be having a substantive conversation, because it is the relationship that will matter the most in the 21st century.

[…] I was supposed to be there a month ago giving a speech, but they canceled my [invitation—see below]. Why? Because I talk too much about human rights and American values, and they know that. And at a time of leadership realignment, the biggest deal in 10 years for them, they didn’t want the former U.S. ambassador saying stuff that might create a narrative that they would have to fight. I understand that. But when the transition is done, the crazy American ambassador will be let back in, and I can say whatever I want. As they used to tell me when I was over there was “Women zhongguo ye you zhengzhi”—“We have politics too in China.”

Huntsman originally said that Chinese authorities had cancelled his visa, but later claimed to have misspoken.


Subscribe to CDT


Browsers Unbounded by Lantern

Now, you can combat internet censorship in a new way: by toggling the switch below while browsing China Digital Times, you can provide a secure "bridge" for people who want to freely access information. This open-source project is powered by Lantern, know more about this project.

Google Ads 1

Giving Assistant

Google Ads 2

Anti-censorship Tools

Life Without Walls

Click on the image to download Firefly for circumvention

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.