March 18 - Rob Cox and China Editor John Foley say despite low expectations for Max Baucus, his popularity in the Senate could make his new role as U.S. ambassador to China fruitful.
There's a new visitor to China his name is Max Baucus he was the senator from Montana. He is now the ambassador to the middle kingdom. John Foley wrote about him. He could be a surprise for everybody right you mean nobody has really high expectations that he's gonna sort of mend fences with China. But you say he has an opportunity. Give -- very politely putting over the fact that this going to know anything about China as he says himself he hasn't been a diploma before. He's going to China to follow on from the previous ambassador Gary lock into Cornel goods stocks and was ethnically Chinese Wichita and loved and then in time. Hated the fact is that -- low expectations may be his greatest obstacle if he even does anything to improve the relationship between China and the US but who don't -- very good let's. Frame that so you've got you've got all these island disputes in the South China Sea got losses of issues that are sort of geopolitical. Quite contentious. And the US is supposed to play a role there -- the US and speak kind of asleep for the week at the moment in China in the US have a slightly tense relationship. It's remained tense for the last first he has the trade deficit that the US from two toner is a record high until and is even depreciated currency weaker currency. -- -- face is bat for US spectrum to the question is why is above and paying more attention to throw on this so Obama 2.0 this the administration he's got. He looks like he's taken his eye off the ball generally when it comes to China yes some of the most important seats in the administration -- point -- with China all on -- feed them the real expertise in Hillary Clinton -- the only person you spoke out about China's human rights record. No longer -- both at state and that treasury which arguably are the ones and to the point you make it your pieces that. That he is this sort of you know there are -- expectations for Max Baucus he comes in there. He's a guy who's from Montana has been relatively pro free trade. He's got probably an open up the beef issue right with China. But I mean is there or something bigger you can do with -- whether it's the trans Pacific partnership with the accounts as a partnership with epic famine this going to he's an old -- He might be able to. Persuade China it's not to join the trans Pacific partnership which have been accused Japan Australia -- of the country gulf countries -- -- -- I guess if you can persuade China to be okay with the fact that other countries joining TPP. And may be dangled the future prospect of China in civic tempo that trade cloak so rather than reducing it is an exclusionary. Club. It's actually a first step towards bringing trying to -- -- -- China we're gonna form this new club you'll kind of on the landing strip you're on the waiting list to -- if you go through the reforms we wanna see and now of course the cynical view in the United States is that Max Baucus is Democrat from. Montana who is retiring. And before that would they sort of wanna do Democrats wanna take. Taking -- mess and cure some sort and put a friendly Democrat in -- be. But named by the democratic governor of Montana which would then help that the Democrats to keep the senate. And thereby hold the affordable care. Which is all altogether probably true but pencil because when everything is the focus was unanimously confirmed. But his colleague Bret was never happen and that happens -- what kind of gets -- say look I have the full backing of the people who make decisions about how this relations -- should -- trade accord come up to the senate. You've got to you've got to. A natural salesman in the form Max Baucus yeah he's not a diplomat in China expert but he might feel sort of the right tools thanks John we'll be back more breaking news tomorrow.