Pompeo tweet indicates U.S. ambassador to China is leaving

Terry Branstad- AP image

U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad speaks to the media next to his wife Christine during a news conference at his residence in Beijing, June 28, 2017.

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

Because Branstad always meant to serve only one term, his departure was expected, according to multiple administration officials and people familiar with his thinking.

U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad will step down to work on President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, a U.S. official familiar with the matter said on Monday, departing Beijing at a time when the ties between the world's top two economies are at their worst in decades. "China relations so that it is results-oriented, reciprocal, and fair", he added.

Branstad was one of then-President-elect Trump's first ambassadorial picks in December 2016, shortly after Trump won the US Presidential election.

On September 9, an opinion piece written by Branstad, in which he accused the Chinese government of "exploiting" U.S. openness in recent decades, was rejected for publication by Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily for being "seriously inconsistent with facts".

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that Mr Branstad's article was "full of loopholes, seriously inconsistent with facts and wantonly attacks and smears China".

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.

"We are rebalancing the U.S".

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. That approach has since fallen by the wayside, with USA officials like Pompeo calling engagement a failed strategy.

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

But trade relations quickly soured, as the USA imposed tariffs on Chinese products and China retaliated in kind.

It noted his work pushing Beijing to class the powerful opioid fentanyl as a controlled substance, making its sale to the United States subject to China's maximum legal penalty.



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