Town Hall: National Committee on United States-China Relations

Web Broadcast Available 8pm at http://www.ncuscr.org/cth
Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China (live webcast) 8pm

On Campus Event Cancelled. Web Broadcast Still Available 8pm at http://www.ncuscr.org/cth

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke will join audiences in 60 cities and towns by live broadcast for a “town hall” meeting on the U.S.-China relationship, preceded by a talk by Douglas Spelman of the Kissinger Institute on U.S.-China relations.

As the Presidential election approaches, the U.S.-China relationship is in the news for both economic and geopolitical reasons.  To help Americans understand this dynamic relationship and answer their questions on the issues, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations will conduct the sixth annual CHINA Town Hall, National Reflections, Local Connections, featuring a live webcast and Q&A with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, broadcast to 60 venues nationwide on October 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm.

Ambassador Locke will deliver a special address to be broadcast live to audiences in 60 cities and towns across the United States. He will then respond to questions from audience members nationwide, moderated by Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

On March 9, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Gary Locke to be the 10th Ambassador of the United States of America to the People’s Republic of China. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 27, 2011 and was sworn in on August 1, 2011. He assumed duty as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People's Republic of China on August 13, 2011.

Previously, Ambassador Locke served as the Secretary of Commerce where he worked to implement President Obama’s agenda to turn around the economy and put people back to work. As the administration’s point person for achieving the President’s National Export Initiative, he presided over a 17 percent increase in exports from 2009 to 2010, while exports to China saw a 32 percent increase.

Before his appointment to the President’s Cabinet, Ambassador Locke served two terms as Governor of Washington. He expanded the sale of Washington products and services by leading trade missions to Asia, Mexico and Europe.

Ambassador Locke has extensive experience working with China. As Secretary of Commerce, he co-chaired two sessions of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade that resulted in important changes to Chinese trade policy. As Governor of Washington, he strengthened economic ties between China and Washington State, more than doubling the state's exports to China to over $5 billion per year. As a partner in the Seattle office of the international law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, he co-chaired the firm’s China practice.

Ambassador Locke is the first Chinese-American to serve as Ambassador to China, as Secretary of Commerce and as Governor. His grandfather emigrated from China to Washington State, initially finding employment as a servant, working in exchange for English lessons. His father, also born in China, was a small business owner, operating a grocery store where Ambassador Locke worked while receiving his education in Seattle public schools. Ambassador Locke went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University and a law degree from Boston University.

Douglas Spelman, Senior Advisor, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States - "US-China Relations: Challenges Ahead"

Both the US and China will soon experience leadership changes or, in our case, possibly, a renewal. To maintain the relationship, which both sides consider crucial, on its current reasonably stable course, the leaders will face a daunting host of security, economic, and social challenges, both domestic and international. Navigating these choppy waters will require skill, understanding, patience, and luck.

Douglas Spelman was educated at Oberlin College (A.B. in Religion, 1963) and Harvard University (M.A. and Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages, 1973).  After several years spent teaching Chinese history at Bucknell University and managing student exchange programs in Taiwan (Oberlin-in-Taiwan) and Hong Kong (Yale-in-China), in 1977 he joined the United States Foreign Service, from which he retired in 2007 with the rank of Minister Counselor in its Senior Service.

His domestic assignments included the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (as a China analyst and director of the Office of Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Analysis), the Taiwan Coordination Staff, and the India desk.  Overseas, he served in Hong Kong (twice), Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan, and, from 2002 to 2005, as Consul General in Shanghai. 
From 2009 to 2012 Dr. Spelman was deputy director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.  He is now a senior advisor at the Institute. Dr. Spelman is married to Nancy Latting Spelman, a psychologist, and they have two grown daughters.