- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Whisky and Chit Chit
The new U.S. ambassador to China yesterday pledged to work to improve bilateral relations and, in a bit of personal diplomacy, referred to his family, his dog, Whisky, and cat, Chit Chit, as he spoke in Chinese during his arrival remarks in Beijing.
"I pledge my best efforts to bring us closer together, to listen carefully and to try to understand China, her aspirations and concerns," Ambassador Clark Randt said outside his residence.
"We both need a positive, cooperative and constructive relationship."
Mr. Randt said President Bush asked him to "convey his warm greetings to the Chinese people."
Mr. Bush "respects China and its talented people" and "admires your rich history and culture," the ambassador said.
Mr. Randt, a Hong Kong businessman and lawyer, said serving as ambassador to China is "the realization of a lifelong dream."
He said he will introduce his wife, Sarah, their two sons and daughter and their pets when they arrive next month.
"I can't speak for Whisky and Chit Chit, but the rest of my family shares my excitement about being here," he said.
Mr. Randt is an old friend of Mr. Bush's. They were college roommates at Yale.
His personal diplomatic style may be necessary to mend relations that were first damaged two years ago when NATO accidentally bombed the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia, prompting days of violent protests and attacks on the ambassador's residence.
Relations were further strained by after the midair collision between a Chinese military jet and a U.S. surveillance plane in April and the detention of the American crew. China also has objected to the U.S. position on Chinese human rights violations and U.S. support for Taiwan.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is to begin a visit in Beijing Saturday.

Envoy to Bahrain
President Bush has selected a career diplomat to serve as ambassador to Bahrain.
Ronald Neumann, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for Middle East issues, was ambassador to Algeria from 1994 to 1997 and director of the office of Northern Gulf affairs from 1991 to 1994.

British trade talks
Britain's top trade official is in Washington to discuss commerce with the United States and trade issues between Washington and the European Union.
Patricia Hewitt, the secretary of state for trade and industry, will meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick and other administration officials.
On Capitol Hill, she has meetings scheduled with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, California Republican.
Today she holds an 11:45 a.m. news conference at the Jefferson Hotel and addresses the European Institute.

Two nominations
The White House yesterday sent the Senate the nominations of Christopher William Dell to serve as ambassador to Angola and Patricia de Stacy Harrison to be assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.


Basketball diplomacy
The Lithuanian ambassador is having hoop dreams of victory over the United States, at least on the basketball court.
Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas will lead a Lithuanian diplomatic team, which includes parliament Speaker Arturas Paulauskas, that meets a congressional squad tonight at Gonzaga High School.
Lithuania "will seek payback on the court" for a game Lithuania lost to the American lawmakers at a NATO summit in May in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, the Lithuanian Embassy said.
This time, the Lithuanians have a ringer Sarunas Marciulionis, a former star player with the National Basketball Association.
At the NATO summit, the American congressional team "unexpectedly triumphed" in a 65-57 match, the embassy said.
"Lithuanian government officials strenuously denied rumors that the game had been intentionally thrown to the Americans to gain an invitation for membership in NATO," the embassy said.
The game begins at 7:30 p.m. at Gonzaga High School, 19 I St. NW.

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