SEATTLE -- Some things never change. For former Washington State Governor and, most recently, former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, his high level work as a diplomat hasn’t dimmed his enthusiasm for home improvement.
In his first television interview since leaving his diplomatic post in Beijing, Locke said he’s looking forward to being a facilitator and consultant for those seeking to improve U.S.-China trade, business and people-to-people relations.
”The world is looking for leadership from both China and the United States partnering together,” Locke said in an exclusive television interview with KING 5 News.
He said one thing he was able to accomplish during his two-year stint as ambassador was decrease the wait time for visas from seven to 10 weeks, to three to five days.
“We did it in a month and a half without hiring any more people or spending any more money, despite a 70 percent increase in demand for visas,” said Locke. The shorter wait, he said, meant more tourists and businesspeople could travel to the U.S. which would benefit both countries’ economies.
And despite a scathing government propaganda column calling him a “banana” and “dog for the blind,” Locke says he is still an effective advocate.
“Despite that bad article instigated by the propaganda department, I actually had very good relations and very good access with high level government leaders, “laughed Locke. “Some of them were embarrassed by that article, too.”
As for home improvement, Locke’s daughter recently asked for an instant hot water dispenser for the kitchen sink as a birthday present. Locke grabbed a wrench and - badda bing badda boom – done.