U.S. Ambassadors to China to Speak at U.Va. Oct. 29

October 22, 2012

Two U.S. ambassadors to China – one former, one current – will speak at the University of Virginia on Oct. 29 as part of a national event focused on U.S.-Chinese relations.

The Asia Institute in the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences will host retired Navy Adm. Joseph Wilson Prueher, who served as ambassador to China from 1999 to 2001. Following his remarks, which begin at 7 p.m. in Nau Hall, room 101, current Ambassador Gary F. Locke will address the audience via webcast. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is part of “China Town Hall,” a national day of programming on China involving about 50 cities throughout the U.S., organized by the National Committee for U.S.-China Relations.

“This is an opportunity to learn more about the contemporary state of affairs between the U.S. and China – right before the elections,” Rachel Stauffer, the Asia Institute’s outreach coordinator, said.

The China Town Hall events give attendees a chance to learn about issues such as debt, monetary policy and trade in a forum outside of the political arena, where partisan agendas and political disagreement sometimes obscure the facts, she said.

In addition to being a former ambassador to China, Prueher is a former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, the largest military command in the world. He’s also a former James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at U.Va.’s Miller Center.

President Obama appointed Locke as the 10th U.S. ambassador to China in 2011. Previously, Locke served as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and as governor of Washington. He is the first Chinese-American to serve in his current post.

Locke will take questions from the remote sites as part of a moderated discussion following his address.

The event is cosponsored by the National Committee on United States-China Relations, the Asia Institute, the East Asia Center and the U.Va. Center for International Studies. Coffee and light refreshments will be available.

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Rob Seal

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