Governor Branstad to Resign to Become U.S. Ambassador to China

May 23, 2017

Branstad to Resign

Republican Governor Terry Branstad will resign tomorrow and be sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to China. Immediately after that, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will be sworn in as governor. The Senate confirmed Branstad as ambassador to China on Monday. Branstad, who is the longest serving governor in the nation, says he will use his decades-long relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) to advance U.S. and international interests. The two met in 1985 when Xi led an agricultural trade delegation to Iowa.  Branstad says his role will be different now.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

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“Instead of being just an old friend of China who has had this long standing sister state, it may be a little more difficult. Because I will be saying things on behalf of the American people that the Chinese government or media might not agree with.”

The Governor says he’s realistic about the challenges he will face as ambassador to China.

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“I don’t know that I am going to be able to change their system, but I certainly want to be an advocate for human rights, for intellectual property rights and for many of these issues that we as Americans care deeply about and I shared that with the members of the Senate foreign relations committee when we had the hearing.”

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa

Governor Branstad says he is glad to leave the state of Iowa in the competent hands of Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. 

Reynolds says she will talk about plans for appointing a Lt. Governor at news conference on Thursday morning at the state capital.