Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, an old friend of Beijing, as the next ambassador to China, sending a positive signal to the development of the relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

As an early follower of Trump, Branstad has very much impressed the president-elect, making him a “couldn’t-be-prouder” choice of the job, according to the transition team of Trump.

Meanwhile, described by a spokesperson of Trump as a man with “a lot of experience and grasp of trade issues, agriculture issues and the understanding of China,” Branstad has also long nurtured a close relationship with China.

His expertise on China and friendship with Chinese and U.S. leaders are expected to facilitate him in lubricating the development of the most important bilateral relationship in the world.

However, the positive signal is sent amid a mixture of messages from Trump over his attitude toward China, as the president-elect not only broke a 37-year-long diplomatic practice by accepting a call from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, but also blamed China over issues including the Chinese currency and the South China Sea.

Some Chinese analysts say that the issues Trump posted on Twitter, including the phone call with Tsai, are a result of Trump’s lack of experience in diplomacy and the fact that he has not put together his foreign policy team.

Just like what White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price has said after Tsai’s call, “We remain firmly committed to our one-China policy based on the three joint communiques … Our fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable cross-strait relations.”

Given the weights of the United States and China, it is believed that a healthy and stable relationship between the two countries is crucial to the peace and stability of the whole world.

In this sense, the nomination of Branstad, if approved by Congress, will be a positive move made by Trump toward a healthy and stable relationship between Beijing and Washington.

During an exclusive interview with Xinhua prior to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United States in September 2015, Branstad dismissed the campaign rhetoric of China bashing by some U.S. presidential candidates, saying that “having a spirit of cooperation and collaboration is in the mutual benefits of both countries.”

“I am hopeful that the next president of the United States will lead to additional cooperation, additional trade and not confrontation,” he told Xinhua.

Now it is his turn to walk his talk together with Trump. Enditem

Source: Xinhua writer Tian Dongdong/


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