‘Farm boy’ from Iowa tasked with bridging US-China divisions
BEIJING – A “farm boy from Iowa” subjective perception that he met with the Chinese president three decades ago, was asked to smooth relations between the two largest economies in the world, due to the increase in the unpredictability of The United States foreign diplomacy during the government of Donald Trump.
Terry Branstad, 70, former governor of Iowa six times, debuted Wednesday as the new US ambassador to Beijing. He knows that the president of China since Xi Jinping visited Iowa as part of the county-level Communist Party during a business trip in 1985.
Both have sparked a lasting friendship that should be a major asset because Branstad seeks to alleviate trade imbalances between the United States and the United States. And China, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
It is less clear how much impact Branstad will have with Trump.
The two met during the 2016 election campaign Their dynamics will be monitored closely by China as it tries to make sense of the sometimes significant changes in the new administration policy, Professor Shi Yinhong told Renmin University in Beijing.
“Your task will be complicated,” Shi said. “The ambassador is a good choice, but he does not decide Sino-US relations. It all depends on Trump and his policy toward China.”
In a greeting for the Chinese video audience, Branstad said he would focus on resolving the trade imbalance and neutralizing the threat of North Korea. Both regions have shown a breeding ground for disagreements between Washington and Beijing, North Korea’s main trading partner and source of diplomatic and economic aid.
US lawmakers have complained that Beijing’s protectionism disadvantages foreign companies and helps reduce the multibillion-dollar trade deficit with China.
In North Korea, China strongly opposes the auspices of the US missile defense system in South Korea, partly because it has a radar system that Beijing says the use of spying on the Chinese military.
Trump said he hoped China could use its influence with North Korea to persuade Pyongyang to cease its nuclear and missile tests. However, this week tweeted that Xi and China’s efforts to help North Korea “did not work”.
Trump also seems to play with Washington’s ten-year commitment not to recognize Taiwan accepts a congratulatory call from the island’s president. However, shortly thereafter, it reaffirmed the “one China” policy, which only Beijing recognizes.