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Trump Offers Xi Jinping's Friend Post of US Ambassador to China

© AP Photo / Charlie NeibergallIowa Gov. Terry Branstad delivers his annual Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa General Assembly, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad delivers his annual Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa General Assembly, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. - Sputnik International
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US President-elect Donald Trump offered Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who called Chinese leader Xi Jinping his "long-time friend," to become the US ambassador to China, US media reported.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Branstad was offered a job at the meeting in New York, Fox News broadcaster reported, citing sources from the Republican Party.

According to other media reports, Branstad accepted the offer but refused to confirm it to journalists.

Trump had indicated prior to the November 8 election that he would consider Branstad for the job, given Iowa's successful business relationship with China.

Xi struck a friendship with Branstad during the first visit to Iowa in 1985, back when he was a low-level Chinese official, and the US governor helped arrange the second visit in 2012.

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In 2012, Branstad referred to Xi as "very outgoing and very personable" and called the president's personal remarks at the state dinner in Des Moines "very sincere and very genuine."

According to the US-China Business Council, in 2015 China was Iowa's second biggest export market after Canada. The US state is mainly exporting crops, machinery, beverages, tobacco, chemicals and electronics as well as services including travel, royalties and equipment maintenance.

Iowa exported $1.4 billion worth of crops to China in 2015, while the overall China exports profit totaled $2.3 billion.

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