(BEIJING) -- The U.S. ambassador to China is stepping down after more than two years on the job. Gary Locke, who was sworn into office on Aug. 1, 2011, will leave his post in early 2014. The ambassador and former commerce secretary informed President Obama of his decision earlier this month. Once Locke leaves office, he will rejoin his family in Seattle. Locke cited helping to increase Chinese investment in the U.S. and lowering visa wait times as proud achievements.
He played a central role in helping the blind dissident Chen Guangcheng leave China for the U.S., but was also known for his modest ways compared to Chinese officials. Early on, a photo of him buying his own Starbucks coffee went viral on social media.
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