On June 17, Clark Randt, Jr., President Bush's nominee as the new ambassador to the People's Republic of China, testified before the Senate foreign Relations Committee. The probing but non-contentious hearing ended with a promise by Senator Kerry, Committee Chairman, that "we will do our best to try to expedite the nomination." Randt, of course, will be replacing Ambassador Joseph Prueher, who served from 1999 until recently and who was instrumental in negotiating the release of the twenty-four United States navy crewmen from Hainan Island.
Randt, a Yale classmate of President Bush, received his bachelor's degree in 1968. He was awarded a Harvard Law School East Asian Legal Studies Traveling Fellowship in 1973 and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1975. Later he studied Chinese law at the University of East Asia in Macao, where he obtained his diploma in 1989.
The 55 year-old, Mandarin-speaking Randt has been active in China-related activities for over twenty-five years and has formidable experience in the China business world. As a partner with the law firm Shearman and Sterling, (and an expert in Chinese business,) he has been in charge of their China practice since 1994. Randt has represented the interests of several multinationals in China, including Chrysler, General Electric Corp., Johnson & Johnson, Fiat Auto, AT&T, Merrill Lynch, the Pacific Alliance Group, Apple Computer Inc., and Raychem, among others.
A specialist in direct foreign investment, capital markets, and financing transactions, Randt was involved in the first three China-related initial public offerings on the New York Stock Exchange, including the 1997 US$4billion IPO of China Telecom (Hong Kong) Ltd., now known as China Mobile Ltd., and the listing of Brilliance China Automotive.
He took part in the reorganization and privatization of three Chinese state-owned enterprises—an industrial firm, a regional airline, and a large electronics concern—and helped underwrite a revenue bond issue in connection with a Chinese infrastructure project.
Randt was first secretary and commercial attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing from 1982 to 1984, for which he was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal. He also served as governor and first vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and was the China representative of the National Council for U.S–China Trade. As a member of the national steering committee for the 1988 presidential campaign, he helped put President George W. Bush’s father into office.
He is the author of several books on doing business in China, including Obtaining PRC Approvals for FIEs and Infrastructure Projects (1999) and China Investment Manual (1998). Randt was also contributor to The Life and Death of Joint Venture in China (1996).
We wish him well in his new post.?
(Adapted from item by Lester J. Gesteland in ChinaOnline