President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to China promised on Tuesday to take a firm line with Beijing on issues from North Korea to trade disputes and human rights, Reuters reports. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said he would use his decades of experience with China to press Beijing to do more to encourage North Korea to curb its nuclear ambitions. “There’s other things they can do diplomatically and economically to send a clear signal that they, as well as the United States and other countries in the world, do not tolerate this expansion of nuclear technology and missiles,” Branstad said at his confirmation hearing. Pressed, Branstad said “there may well be” a role for measures such as imposing secondary sanctions on Chinese banks or other entities that violated UN Security Council resolutions by doing business with Pyongyang. Chinese President Xi Jinping has called Branstad, 70, an “old friend” after decades of dealings on agricultural trade.
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