China pressures group to cancel Huntsman speech
Published: October 18, 2012 12:56PM
Updated: October 19, 2012 11:17AM

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman served in China for 18 months as the U.S. ambassador but has apparently rattled Chinese leaders with his comments.

Huntsman told Foreign Policy magazine that he was supposed to be in China last month for a speech but that the country canceled his visa so he couldn't enter.

"Why? Because I talk too much about human rights and American values, and they know that," Huntsman said. "And at a time of leadership realignment, the biggest deal in 10 years for them, they didn't want the former U.S. ambassador saying stuff that might create a narrative that they would have to fight. I understand that. But when the transition is done, the crazy American ambassador will be let back in, and I can say whatever I want."

Huntsman's office later said the ex-ambassador misspoke and the speech was canceled, not his visa. He has been back to China since, he said at the Bipartisan Policy Center on Friday.

-- Thomas Burr
@Thomaswburr