Wednesday January 29, 2020


March 20, 2014

With his nomination unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Max Baucus has arrived in Beijing to take up his post as the new U.S. Ambassador to China. Not long after his arrival in China, Ambassador Baucus was in front of the cameras to make his first official statements to the press as Ambassador. During his statements he expressed his excitement, determination, and goals for his tenure.

According to Xinhua, Baucus said he had three main goals while he serves as ambassador. He expanded that “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.”

It is no surprise that Baucus has chosen to emphasize economic relations with China. His primary policy focus as U.S. Senator was economic, having served as chair of the Senate Budget Committee. His official work with China in the past also had a heavy economic focus. For example, he was a vocal advocate for China’s admission into the World Trade Organization in the 1990s and has worked for better trade relations between China and his home state of Montana.

Ambassador Baucus’ next two goals are also significant. They show that Baucus plans to emphasize cooperation over conflict. He wants to strengthen the positive bonds between the American and Chinese people. Baucus understands that there are disagreements and differences that will challenge the U.S.-China relationship but also recognizes that this is “one of America’s most important bilateral relationships.” Baucus is ready to work hard and do what it takes to manage this relationship because, according to Baucus, “we simply must get it right.”

While Ambassador Baucus does not have a specialized background in China or diplomacy, he offers other important attributes to the post. In addition to his practical experience in trade relations with China and his many visits to the country, Baucus had a long and successful career in the U.S. Senate.

This experience allows Baucus to understand the inner workings of Congress and how best to present issues related to China. Baucus also received unanimous support from Senate on his appointment, indicating that he will have a better ability to liaise with lawmakers on China related issues and have his views on China consulted.

Baucus has also taken the lessons he learned from traveling the globe to heart. He believes that it is his responsibility to get to know his host country better and vowed to leave Beijing and see as much of China as possible, aiming to visit every province.

Ambassador Baucus arrived in Beijing ready to get started, work hard, and do everything in his power to maintain and grow the vital U.S.-China relationship. During the press conference Baucus quoted the Chinese philosopher Laozi saying, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” The new Ambassador has already taken the first one.

For more information on Ambassador Baucus’ press meeting, see the following news articles:

Xinhua – “New US ambassador Max Baucus meets the press in Beijing

China Daily– “New US envoy hits ground running

New York Times– “New U.S. Ambassador to China Gets a Fast Start

Reuters– “Smartest U.S. export to China could be Max Baucus

Wall Street Journal– “New U.S. Ambassador Talks the Talk, Aims to Walk the Walk

For Chinese language news on this topic, see the sources below:

New York Times (纽约时报中文网)- 美国驻华大使鲍卡斯正式上任

China Daily (中国日报)– “美国新任驻华大使鲍卡斯到任后在北京会见媒体

Wall Street Journal (华尔街日报中文网)– “鲍卡斯:愿走遍中国 渴望倾听和学习

China News Service (中国新闻网)– “鲍卡斯宣誓就任美国驻华大使 欲推动对华经济关系

Compiled and edited by Ariane Rosen