A Chinese-speaking Republican candidate in 2012? The Rice Bowl The Rice Bowl Politics Asia China News Desk on Dec 31, 1969 @ 7:33 PM US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (left) greets visitors at the opening of the US pavilion on the first day of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai on May 1, 2010. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images) Has this 50-year-old, Mandarin-speaking Republican left his ambassador's position in Beijing to run against Obama next year? The Politico seems to think so. Meet Jon Huntsman.