Jon Huntsman, Jr. with Honorable Michael Huffington
Today, I joined some 500 others watch Jon Huntsman Jr.receive the 2012 Roy M. Huffington Award for Contributions to International Understanding at Asia Society Texas Center's inaugural Huffington Award Luncheon. The big event was held at the Hilton Americas Hotel at noon. Serving as mistress of ceremonies was Channel 11 anchor Shern-Min Chow.
Huntsman, an adept politician, businessman and diplomat, served as the 16th governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009 and was a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Huntsman has long and close ties to Asia that date back to the late 1970s when he lived and worked in Taiwan. After having served in a number of government roles, President Barack Obama asked him to serve as ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (2009-2011), noting his intimate understanding of the region and his proficiency in Mandarin Chinese.
At the luncheon, Huntsman was questioned by Baker Hughes' Alan Crain about the state of bilateral relations between the U.S. and China. The governor acknowledged that, to date, it has been easier for the U.S. "to say what we're going to do to China than what we're going to do with China."
Following the luncheon, Huntsman met with a group of local students for an intimate question-and-answer session, where he spoke to the importance of service and involvement in the political process.