US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved Lowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the next US ambassador to China.
To be confirmed, Branstad needs to be approved by the full Senate, which hasn’t yet scheduled the vote, Xinhua news agency reported.
Branstad, 70, is the longest-serving Governor in the US , who also has nurtured a close relationship with China and has visited China multiple times.
He served as the Governor of Iowa in 1983-1999, and again since 2011. He was nominated by US President Donald Trump to be the next US ambassador to China in December 2016.
During his confirmation hearing last week, Branstad said, if confirmed, he would work to “positively influence” the US-China relationship.
“As Governor of Iowa, I saw first-hand the importance of a positive and healthy trade relationship between our two countries,” Branstad was quoted as saying.
Calling US-China relationship “multi-faceted,” Branstad also noted that the two countries must work together on major security issues, including the denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and cybersecurity.