The US Senate unanimously approved the appointment of former commerce secretary Gary Locke as ambassador to Beijing, making him the first Chinese-American to hold the diplomatic post, AFP reported. Locke, whose grandfather came from China to the US on a steamboat, is a former prosecutor and governor of Washington state. Succeeding former Utah governor Jon Huntsman – a Republican contender in next year’s US presidential elections – Locke said he will be a strong advocate for human rights and US companies. While he told senators that he will use his personal story to reach out to Chinese people, Locke also said his top priorities include non-proliferation and that Beijing can do more to rein in North Korea. The 61-year-old intends to fight for intellectual property protection for US businesses and help foreign companies gain fair competition for Chinese government contracts.