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Washington Post: 10 things to know about Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Trump’s pick for ambassador to China

1. He’s “old friends” with China’s president: Their relationship goes back decades, and it’s one of the most unique in international politics. On his long path to the presidency, China’s Xi Jinping visited rural Iowa in 1985, when Branstad was in his first term as governor, and again in 2012, when Branstad was also governor. (One likely reason Xi chose Iowa to visit in the first place: A growing China has been gobbling up Iowa’s corn and soybean production for the past decade.)

The two got along so well, Xi even invited Branstad to China a couple times. Aides say the relationship is authentic.

“They like each other — it’s not just smile for the cameras, pomp and circumstance,” then-Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht told the Des Moines Register. “They get along really well, and the governor believes that President Xi is very personable.”

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