President Obama appointed Republican Utah Governor Jon Huntsman as the U.S. ambassador to China.

Huntsman was serving his final term as governor of Utah. The politician is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and served once as a trade representative and ambassador to Singapore.

When the president of the United States asks you to step up and serve in a capacity like this, that to me is the end of the conversation and the beginning of the obligation to rise to the challenge, Huntsman said on Saturday in the White House. He reportedly expressed surprise at the appointment.

His position must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.