Branstad Out As US Ambassador To China
CBS2 is reporting that former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is stepping down from his post as U.S. Ambassador to China. Ambassador Branstad, who holds the record for the longest serving governor in the history of Iowa, resigns his post just days after angering the Chinese government with an op-ed he wrote. Branstad submitted his piece to a newspaper, which rejected it.
In his op-ed, CBS2 reports that Branstad said that China must balance the relationship with more freedoms and dialogue with citizens, and said that it must start with the Chinese government. China has recently cracked down on the ability of American diplomats to interact with the Chinese people. The state run newspaper, People's Daily, rejected the writing, and accused Branstad and the U.S. of escalating political persecution against China.
After announcing Branstad's departure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised his work in China and defended his actions.
Ambassador Branstad was assigned to his post shortly after President Trump was elected. He resigned as Governor of Iowa in May of 2017. Then Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds took over the governorship. Branstad was elected Governor of Iowa six times, beginning in 1982. He left office in 1999, but returned to the office in 2011. Branstad will turn 74 later this year.