KIMT News 3 – Gov. Terry Branstad has accepted President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination for the key post of U.S. ambassador to China, CBS News confirms.
Branstad was seen in Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday afternoon. The president-elect has a “thank you tour” rally scheduled in Des Moines on Thursday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Branstad, the nation’s longest-serving governor, would assume the post at a time of heightened tensions after Trump spoke with Taiwan’s president on the phone. Taiwan is self-ruled, but China claims the nation as one of its provinces.
Branstad’s departure would mean Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would become Iowa’s first female governor.
Branstad released this statement on Wednesday:
I love Iowa and I love my country. For 22 years, I have been honored and privileged to serve the people of Iowa as their governor. My family and I will always be grateful to Iowans for trusting me to lead and putting their faith in me to serve.
America is at a crossroads, and the American people are looking for bold change to renew our position as the leader in the world. To once again hold America up as that “shining city upon a hill” as President Reagan so proudly proclaimed. By electing President-elect Trump on Nov. 8, this message was sent loud and clear by the voters.
During our 30-year friendship, President Xi Jinping and I have developed a respect and admiration for each other, our people and our cultures. The United States – Chinese bilateral relationship is at a critical point. Ensuring the countries with the two largest economies and two largest militaries in the world maintain a collaborative and cooperative relationship is needed more now than ever. The President-elect understands my unique relationship to China and has asked me to serve in a way I had not previously considered.
After long discussions with my family, I am honored and humbled to be nominated to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. I also accept President-elect Trump’s charge to prioritize collaborative policies that will Make America Great Again. This is an extraordinary opportunity. I believe that the respect and admiration built over a decades-old friendship between President Xi and I give me an opportunity to help the President-elect and serve Iowa, the United States and the world for the better.
This new mission to continue serving my state, and my country, in a new role is essential to building a bright future for our children and grandchildren. With my wife Chris by my side, I look forward to the work ahead but we will never have Iowa far from our hearts.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller released the following statement on the nomination: