New US ambassador to China Max Baucus outlines main objectives in Beijing

By Stefan Van Assche, March 19, 2014

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Max Baucus, the new US ambassador to China held his introductory press conference in Beijing on Tuesday. He spoke about the bilateral ties between the countries and what he sees as his priorities for the future.

The 72 year old Baucus said that the China-US relationship is “one of America’s most important bilateral relationships”, adding that "it will shape global affairs for generations to come; we simply must get it right."

He intends not to waste any time and already pointed out some key objectives he wants to work on.

"During my time in Beijing, I hope to accomplish three goals that are critical to the US relationship with China. The first is to strengthen economic ties with China, in a way that is mutually beneficial. The second is to be a partner with China to tackle common global challenges. The third goal is to do everything possible to promote stronger people-to-people ties, including students, tourists, business people and others. These millions of personal ties collectively strengthen the foundation of the bilateral relationship and help promoting mutual trust." Baucus said.

He further emphasized that pushing for fair treatment for American businesses would be one of his top priorities, together with promoting exchanges among students, tourists and businessmen.

Baucus said he looks forward to traveling all around China to represent the US in every corner of the country. Baucus is a frequent visitor to China already, having made at least eight trips to the country. He also met President Xi Jinping during a visit to Beijing in 2010.

Baucus told reporters he agreed with Chinese leaders that both countries have more common interests than differences and that the cooperation in various fields is not only possible but also vital. He added that the US would urge Beijing to support such universal values as human rights.

It is expected Baucus will play a significant role in strengthening the relationship between the US and China. The former Montana senator replaces Gary Locke, who stepped down in February.

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