Branstad: US-China friendship is 'important'

Updated: 2017-02-24 23:57

WASHINGTON – Cordial ties are "going to be an important thing" between the US and China, said Terry Branstad, the governor of Iowa and US President Donald Trump's nominee to be ambassador to China.

"If you think of the history there have been a lot of rocky times. It gets worse, and then it gets better. But I hope I can play a constructive role in helping to improve the relations," Branstad said Thursday in an interview after speaking at a US Department of Agriculture conference in Arlington, Virginia.

Branstad, who has known Chinese President Xi Jinping for three decades, said that his personal relationship with Chinese officials will help convince them to break down barriers.

He said that one goal is to re-open Chinese purchases of US beef, shuttered since the first US outbreak of mad-cow disease in 2003.

"I want to serve it at the embassy to Chinese leadership soon," Branstad said.

He was nominated by Trump in December, but his confirmation as ambassador has yet to go before the US Senate.


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