US Ambassador to China Resigns, Joins Trump Campaign

By Joshua Cawthorpe, September 15, 2020

0 0

The US Ambassador to China announced on Monday that he will be retiring and leaving the US embassy in Beijing early next month. Terry Branstad, two-time Iowa governor, moved to the capital city with his family in 2017.

US president Donald Trump selected Branstad to replace Max Baucus as the US Ambassador to China shortly after the 2016 election. CNN reported that Branstad was returning to the US to help Trump’s re-election campaign, although this was not formally included in Monday’s announcement.

Branstad has considered Chinese president Xi Jinping an ‘old friend’ since Xi, then a local official in Hebei province, led a delegation to Iowa to learn about agricultural technology in 1985, according to China Daily. Branstad hosted Xi again in 2012 at an agriculture symposium in Des Moines, the capital of Iowa.

Branstad was selected by Trump because of his longstanding relationship with the Chinese president and for his political experience in public policy, trade and agriculture. 

However, Branstad has remained fairly quiet recently regarding US-China policy. 

Two state department officials expressed surprise at Branstad’s untimely departure, however, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has had a more active role in Trump’s China policy. Pompeo has frequently appeared in Chinese media over the past several months for making contentious statements.

Mike Pompeo thanked Branstad for his tenure on Twitter. Image via screengrab @SecPompeo/Twitter

The People’s Daily recently received an op-ed contribution from Ambassador Branstad in which he accused Chinese students and researchers in the US of intellectual property theft and blamed China for an overall lack of reciprocity, according to Time. The piece was unsurprisingly rejected by Chinese media.

During Branstad’s tenure in China, the US and China saw relations sour, largely due to the US-China trade war, which started July 2018. 

In a statement posted to the US embassy’s WeChat account, Branstad expressed his gratitude for the unforgettable hospitality of the Chinese people, China Daily reports.

[Cover image via @九味安神茶/Weibo]

more news

Here's How to Watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Online in China

Some links that work without the pesky firewall.

This City's Metro Came 1st in Revenue and Profit in 2020

It even made more profit than the rest of the metro companies combined.

Shared Bikes in Beijing Used 690 Million Times in 2020

The capital’s transport department wants to limit the number of shared bikes in the city center to 800,000 in 2021.

China Travel Trends in 2020

Welcome to our 2020 China Year in Review series.

China's 10 Biggest Sports Winners and Losers in 2020

Welcome to our 2020 China Year in Review series.

10 Top Trending China News Stories of 2020

Welcome to our 2020 China Year in Review series.

13 Totally Wacky Taobao Gifts for Christmas 2020

Show your friends and family how much you care this holiday season by getting them a gift that arguably shouldn’t exist.

Horoscopes: December 2020

Finally, a horoscope that understands your life in China.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives