US Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman Jr. to end assignment on April 30

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The United States ambassador to China, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., delivered a letter of resignation on Monday to President Obama and intends to leave his position on April 30, a White House official said, clearing the way for him to explore a potential 2012 Republican presidential bid.

Mr. Huntsman, a former Republican governor of Utah, was nominated nearly two years ago by President Obama to serve as the top American envoy to China. He has not decided whether to move forward with a candidacy, associates said, but he has had several conversations with a circle of political advisers who are waiting in the wings if he decides to run.

While Mr. Huntsman has declined to discuss his political ambitions, particularly those that could include challenging the president for whom he has served, a trail of evidence has been building that signals his interest in a White House bid. He has also been spending less time in Beijing and more time in Washington, where he bought a $3.6 million home last summer.

Continue reading: Huntsman Clears Way for a 2010 Bid