Max Baucus Hearing On Being Appointed China Ambassador - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Max Baucus Hearing On Being Appointed China Ambassador

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Montana's Senior U.S. Senator is one step closer to becoming the next ambassador to China.

"The United States and China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. It will shape global affairs for generations to come. We must get it right," said Baucus.

During a hearing held on Tuesday, Senator Max Baucus stood in front on the Foreign Affairs Committee in hopes of becoming the next ambassador to China.

Senator Jon Tester introduced Baucus, who called him a "legend in Montana."

"Max's commitment to greater economic opportunity has paid off for Montanans and Americans for literally decades," said Tester. "As ambassador he will have the opportunity to take his passion, his work ethnic and his knowledge to the next level."

In his opening remarks, he focused on how he will strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and China. Baucus also spoke about his commitment to boosting America's trade interests across the globe.

"If confirmed, I will urge China leaders to protect the universal human rights and the freedoms of all citizens including ethnic and religious minorities," said Baucus.

He also talked about how he became fascinated with China after he took a trip around the world, 50 years ago.

"That trip opened my eyes. I realized how people across the globe were interconnected and we're all in this together," said Baucus.

Baucus currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. If nominated, he will replace Gary Locke as ambassador.

The Foreign Affairs Committee will now hold a business meeting to ask the full Senate to vote to confirm Baucus to the post. That could happen as early as Wednesday.

If Baucus receives a majority vote from the full Senate, expected to happen some time this week, President Obama will then appoint him to the position.

If Senator Baucus does become China's next ambassador, Governor Steve Bullock will be in charge of filling Montana's vacant senate seat until January of 2015. He has made no mention as to whom he will appoint.

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