US ambassador defends tough approach to China

Beijing (AP) — The departing U.S. ambassador in Beijing is defending a tough approach to China that has riled relations between the world’s two largest economies. In an interview with the Associated Press, Terry Branstad said that Trump administration has made progress on trade and that he hopes it will extend to other areas including China’s treatment of diplomats and journalists. Branstad downplays the strained relationship, noting it has weathered ups and downs in the past. He concedes, though, that there is concern that pressure on China could lead to a downward spiral of growing restrictions. The longtime Iowa governor is returning to Iowa this weekend after three years and three months as ambassador. No successor has been named.