Locke to step down as U.S. Ambassador to China

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BEIJING — U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke said in a statement issued Nov. 20 that he will step down in early 2014 to rejoin his family in Seattle.

Locke, the first Chinese American to hold the position, said the role was the “honor of a lifetime.”

He went on to say that “Helping manage one of the most vitally important bilateral relationships for the United States, with so many critical American interests at stake, has been an immense and rewarding challenge. And living in China while representing the United States  has truly been an  exciting privilege for  our entire family. … I am extremely proud of the work of our staff at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China and what we have been able to accomplish together on behalf of the American people and for U.S.-China relations.”

Locke said in the statement that he informed President Barack Obama of his decision when the two met earlier in November.

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