USA Ambassador to China to step down

FILE PHOTO: U.S. and Chinese flags are adjusted before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Terry Branstad will step down as United States Ambassador to China after more than three years in Beijing. The resignation is expected to happen before the Presidential elections in November. The news was released through a source who confirmed the resignation to CNN on Monday. 

In a Twitter post early Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Branstad for his service to the American people as the US Ambassador.”

The news comes amid increasing tensions between the US and China. On Friday, Being announced that it would be imposing unspecified restrictions on senior US diplomats and personnel inside China after Washington put in place a similar measure targeting Beijing’s diplomatic corps on September 3.

Pompeo didn’t give a reason for Branstad’s departure, or any announcement about a potential successor to the important diplomatic post. Branstad was one of then-President-elect Trump’s first ambassadorial picks in December 2016, shortly after Trump won the US Presidential election.