Ambassador To China – Former Iowa Governor – Stepping Down Next Month

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to China will step down early next month, ending a three-year tenure marked by a trade war and increasingly bitter relations between the world’s two largest economies. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing says Terry Branstad confirmed his decision in a phone call with President Donald Trump last week. It did not give a reason for his departure. Trade relations soured under Trump, and other disputes followed over technology, human rights and the response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Branstad became embroiled in a recent controversy when China’s official People’s Daily newspaper rejected an opinion piece by him.  He served as Iowa’s Governor from 1983-1999 and from 2011-2017.

FILE – In this June 28, 2017, file photo, U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad makes comments about pro-democracy activist and Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo during a photocall and remarks to journalists at the Ambassador’s residence in Beijing. Branstad appears to be leaving his post, based on tweets by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo thanked Branstad for more than three years of service on Twitter on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)