Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has been picked by the President-elect Donald Trump to hold the post of U.S. ambassador to China, Branstad has been referred to as a longtime friend by the Chinese President Xi Jinping. This report has been issued by people who are close to the issue.
Terry Branstad has accepted the offer and he’s willing to collaborate with Donald Trump’s transition team. Trump’s decision comes at a time when the tensions between China and U.S have heightened; this was as a result of Trump’s call with Taiwan which was considered to be against the diplomatic protocol that has been upheld for four decades. China considers Taiwan to be a rogue province. Mr. Trump has been critical of China’s military build-up and currency policies. However, he is yet to name his choice for the secretary of state.
In a statement made by Lu Kang the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Branstad is an old friend of China. He added that the Chinese government is inviting Terry Branstad to advance China-U.S. relations. The spokesman also emphasized that the Chinese government was willing to work with whoever took the position to push the relations between the two countries in a path of healthy, steady, and consistent development.
Branstad made his way to the Trump Tower with his Chief of Staff, Michael Bousselot, and his wife Chris. The three met up with a contingent of Trump’s top advisers who all gathered for the meeting with Branstad. Trump’s team included Trump’s Chief strategist Steve Bannon, chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner who is Trump’s son-in-law.
Branstad was in the meeting for an hour after which he re-emerged in the lobby; he told reported that he wouldn’t comment on whether he was offered a post. However, Branstad said that he was excited about the kind of people that Trump was attracting to the cabinet adding that he was proud to have supported Donald Trump.
Branstad is the longest serving governor in U.S. history, having started his second run for governor back in 2011; he had previously held the position from 1983 to 1999. Trump will be in Iowa on Thursday for his post-election victory tour.
The friendly relationship between Xi and Branstad started back in 1985 when the Chinese leader made his first trip to Iowa. During their first encounter, Xi was just an agricultural official who worked as director of the Feed Association of Shijiazhuang Prefecture. They have thus reconnected several times since then.