U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad stepping down

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stopped short of saying explicitly whether US envoy to China Terry Branstad was continuing on the job

Trump said at the time that the then-Iowa governor was picked for his experience in public policy, trade and agriculture, as well as his "long-time relationship with (Chinese) President Xi Jinping", whom Branstad had known since 1985 through US-China government exchanges.

Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, made the announcement on Monday.

It did not give a reason for his departure.

United States Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, will leave Beijing soon.

China praised his appointment, hailing Branstad as an "old friend of the Chinese people", a moniker reserved for a select few statesman credited with improving Beijing's ties with the wider world. "China relations so that it is results-oriented, reciprocal, and fair". Trump was expected to win the state easily in 2020 against Democratic candidate Joe Biden, but some opinion polls show the race tightening, attracting money from Democrats in the U.S. Senate and presidential race who now see the state as winnable.

A newspaper spokesperson said the article was "full of loopholes, and seriously inconsistent with fact".

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The US embassy had contacted the People's Daily on August 26 about the piece, asking that it be printed in full without any edits by September 4.

Branstad, a former long-time Iowa governor, was chosen in part because of his familiarity with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who visited the Midwestern US state during a trip overseas in the 1980s.

Trump appointed him ambassador after a vacancy of several months, during which the embassy's No. 2 official, David Rank, resigned after criticizing the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

But as of a few weeks ago, Branstad was planning to remain in Beijing until after the election, according to two sources familiar.

The phase one deal reached the following January represented a truce but did not address the more fundamental complaints of the American side.

Pompeo publicly condemned the government-run newspaper's decision on Twitter, saying China's ambassador to the U.S.is "free to publish in any USA media outlet".

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