Donald Trump picks 'old pal' of Xi as US envoy to China

Updated: Dec 09, 2016, 10:06 IST | Agencies

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the next US Ambassador to China

Washington: President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the next US Ambassador to China, choosing an "old friend" of Beijing, after upsetting the Communist giant by his protocol-shattering talk with the Taiwanese president.

Branstad (70) has longstanding ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping, dating back to mid-1980s, when the latter was a county official seeking a closer relationship with Iowa's robust agriculture sector.

"Branstad's decades of experience in public service and long-time relationship with Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders make him the ideal choice to serve as US's Ambassador to China," Trump said.

"He successfully developed close trade ties with China while serving as chief executive of the Hawkeye State. That experience will serve him well as he represents America's interests and further develops a mutually beneficial relationship with Chinese leadership." Branstad said, "I am honoured and humbled to accept the nomination…"

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