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Iowa Governor Branstad confirmed as US ambassador to China

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-23 09:54

Iowa Governor Branstad confirmed as US ambassador to China

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be US ambassador to China at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., US, May 2, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - US Senate on Monday voted 82-13 to approve Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the new US ambassador to China.

In a statement after the confirmation, Branstad said he looks forward to working with leaders of both countries for the mutual benefit and the rest of the world.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a boy from a small farm in Leland, Iowa, would one day have the opportunity to represent my country and my state on the world stage, working closely with one of the world's most influential countries and one of America's largest trading partners," he said.

Branstad, 70, is the longest-serving governor in the United States. He has nurtured a close relationship with China and has visited China multiple times.

He served as the governor of Iowa in 1983-1999, and again since 2011. He was nominated by US President Donald Trump to be the next US ambassador to China in December 2016.

During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Branstad said, if confirmed, he would work to "positively influence" the US-China relationship.

"As Governor of Iowa, I saw first-hand the importance of a positive and healthy trade relationship between our two countries," Branstad said, adding that he hoped to work towards the goal of positively influencing the US-China relationship.

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