- Title: Beijing hopes Trump's pick for China ambassador will improve ties
- Date: 8th December 2016
- Summary: DES MOINES, IOWA, UNITED STATES (FILE - FEBRUARY 15, 2012) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PLANE LANDING CHINESE VICE PRESIDENT XI JINPING WALKING OFF PLANE AND SHAKING HANDS WITH IOWA GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD / BRANSTAD'S WIFE, CHRIS BRANSTAD, GREETING XI VARIOUS OF XI AND BRANSTAD MAKING TOAST AND CLINKING GLASSES IN FRONT OF AUDIENCE
- Embargoed: 23rd December 2016 09:44
- Keywords: China Trump China ambassador ambassador Terry Branstad Branstad U.S. US United States
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA / DES MOINES, IOWA, UNITED STATES
- City: BEIJING, CHINA / DES MOINES, IOWA, UNITED STATES
- Country: China
- Reuters ID: LVA0025C0W2FB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: China said on Thursday (December 8) that it hopes Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Trump's nomination for U.S. ambassador to China, will improve ties between the two countries.
"For all these years, he has in his role as state governor put a lot of effort into promoting China-U.S. cooperation. We hope that he can make a greater contribution to the development of China-U.S. relations," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told media in Beijing during a daily briefing.
The appointment may help to ease trade tensions between the two countries, the world's two biggest agricultural producers, diplomats and trade experts said. Branstad has visited China at least six times, and Chinese President Xi Jinping has travelled to Iowa twice, including once while Branstad was governor. Xi's last visit to Iowa was in 2013 where Branstad hosted a state dinner for him in De Moines.
"Regardless of who takes the position of U.S. ambassador to China, due to their role being an important bridge between the Chinese and U.S. governments, we will always desire to work with them to continue to push forth the healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations," Lu added.
On Wednesday (December 7), Branstad said he and Xi have had a "30-year friendship".
Xi's ties to Iowa go back more than 30 years: He visited Iowa in 1985 on an agricultural research trip when he led a delegation from Hebei Province, returning 27 years later and reuniting with some of the people he had met.
Trump in a statement cited Branstad's qualifications including experience in government and longtime relationships with Xi and other Chinese leaders. The nomination, which will be formally made once the Republican president-elect is sworn in on January 20, was well received, even among some Democrats.
Trump, who defeated Hillary Clinton in last month's election, has said that when he takes office he intends to declare China a currency manipulator, meaning it keeps the yuan artificially low to make its exports cheap, and has threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the United States.
But Branstad's appointment also suggests that Trump may be ready to take a less combative stance toward China than many expected, experts have said.
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