About 2.8 million people of Chinese origin live in the U.S., making them the largest group of Asian Americans. They have settled primarily on the west coast, and in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Early Chinese immigrants performed intensive labor in hellish conditions, and faced racially discriminatory immigration laws from 1882-1965. By the turn of the 20th century, nearly 80% of the Chinese population lived in Chinatowns across the country as a means to escape pervasive racism.
The Chinese Communist system is based on repressing free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and democracy in general. Because of his mixed record during his long climb to the top of the Communist hierarchy, many observers hoped that Hu might introduce reforms relating to civil liberties and political expression. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. To begin with, Hu has made it clear that the Chinese army should be loyal not to the state, but to the Communist Party. In 2004 he reportedly advised Party leaders to study North Korea and Cuba as models for maintaining order.
Zhang Yesui was named China’s Ambassador to the United States in March 2010.
Jon M. Huntsman Jr. does not fit the typical profile of a U.S. ambassador. Generally, ambassadors fall into one of two camps: Career diplomats; or wealthy political contributors rewarded for their support of the president and his party. Huntsman has never been in the Foreign Service, and as a conservative Republican, he supported President Barack Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain. Huntsman assumed the position of Ambassador to China on August 11, 2009, and announced his resignation effective April 30, 2011.