Trump selects Iowa Governor Branstad as U.S. envoy to China

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New York [United States], Dec. 8 (ANI): U.S. President- elect Donald Trump has selected Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as his incoming government's ambassador to China. Confirming that Branstad had accepted the offer, Trump spokesperson Jason Miller said that Trump will be joined by Branstad at his Des Moines rally Thursday, one of the stops on Trump's "thank you" tour of rallies in the swing states. Miller said that Branstad was selected as Trump's envoy in Beijing due to his experience in public policy, trade and agriculture. "Branstad has a tremendous understanding of China and the Chinese people, and is someone who very much impressed the President-elect, not just during their meetings on the campaign trail but also in their meetings after the election," CNN quoted Miller, as saying. "It's very clear that Gov. Branstad is someone who will represent our country well on the world stage, and we couldn't be prouder of this selection," he added. The decision was formally announced by the Trump campaign in a statement on Wednesday. Trump said in a statement that Branstad is the ideal choice to serve as America's Ambassador to China as he has decades of experience in public service and long-time relationship with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders. Branstad has a decades-long relationship with President Xi as the two know each other since 1985, when Xi, who was a provincial officialat that time, had visited Iowa on a state exchange program during Branstad's first term as governor. Maintaining their friendship, Xi during his visit to the U.S. in 2012 as a vice-president had also met Branstad. Reacting on Branstad being chosen as the U.S. envoy to China, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang at a press conference described Branstad as an old friend of the Chinese people and welcomed his greater contribution to the development of relations between the two sides. A number of high-stakes diplomatic challenges in the U.S.-China relationship would be confronted by the next ambassador to China which includes growing tensions over the disputed South China Sea and the implementation of the Paris climate change agreement. Trump had angered China by taking a congratulatory call from the president of Taiwan and criticizing Beijing in a series of tweets over currency devaluation and tariffs. (ANI)