Washington, DC (AP) – The Senate has voted to confirm Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to serve as U.S. ambassador to China.
The vote Monday night was 82-13.
Branstad says he intends to use his decades-long relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping to advance U.S. and international interests. The two met in 1985 when Xi, then a provincial official, led an agricultural trade delegation to Iowa.
The 70-year-old Branstad is in his sixth nonconsecutive term as Iowa’s governor. With more than 22 years at the helm of state government, he is the country’s longest-serving governor.