President Obama has nominated former Hearts and Kilmarnock full back Gary Locke as the new U.S. Ambassador to China.
The U.S Senate must ratify the appointment before departing ambassador Jon Huntsman can be replaced and its anticipated that Obama's surprise choice could face considerable opposition.
But Obama moved quickly to justify his decision :
"I became aware of Mr Locke a number of years ago during a trip I made to Great Britain. I spent an evening in Edinburgh and had a very pleasant time in the Pear Tree beer garden.
I overheard a conversation taking place at the next table and the gentleman was waxing lyrical about his love of chicken chow mein takeaways and pandas.
I was extremely impressed not only by the chap's enthusiasm but also his desire to visit the country where his 2 favourite things originated.
The name of the gentleman was Garry Locke.
I sincerely hope his wish will now be fulfilled".