WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Senate has unanimously confirmed Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as U.S. ambassador to China.
Locke, a former two-term governor of Washington state, will be the first Chinese-American to serve as ambassador to China, the largest nation in the world and a major trading partner. It is also the top holder on U.S. debt.
Locke was approved by voice vote and replaces Jon Huntsman, who resigned in April to explore a GOP presidential run against President Barack Obama next year.
"Making sure the U.S.-China partnership continues to work for both nations is absolutely critical to ensuring our ability to compete and succeed in the 21st century global economy," U.S. Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a released statement. "I look forward to working with Ambassador Locke to make sure our nation's relationship with China helps businesses, farmers, and the economy in Washington state and across the country."