The Denver Post - - NEWS -

Branstad front-run­ner for China post

• Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a long­time friend of Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, is the front-run­ner for the cru­cial post of U.S. am­bas­sador to China.

A de­ci­sion may fol­low meet­ings be­tween Branstad and mem­bers of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s tran­si­tion team in New York in the com­ing week, said three peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

The po­ten­tial move to name Branstad comes at a time of height­ened ten­sions with China af­ter Trump aban­doned al­most four decades of diplo­matic pro­to­col on Fri­day by speak­ing di­rectly with the leader of Tai­wan, which Bei­jing con­sid­ers a rogue prov­ince. Trump hasn’t named his choice for sec­re­tary of state, the top U.S. diplo­matic post.

The long­est-serv­ing gov­er­nor in U.S. his­tory, Branstad will be in New York this week for pre­vi­ously sched­uled work re­lated to Iowan eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, his spokesman said. Meet­ings with Trump tran­si­tion of­fi­cials are likely to be added to his sched­ule, ac­cord­ing to ad­vis­ers to both Trump and Branstad. Trump will be in Iowa on Thurs­day for a stop on his post-elec­tion vic­tory tour.

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