Iowa’s longest standing governor travels back to Iowa for the holidays.
Terry Branstad, now U.S. Ambassador to China, travelled back home for his brother’s, Monroe “Monte” Branstad, funeral. Branstad’s wife, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters accompanied him in his travels.
Branstad’s family plans to stick around for the holidays. They will attend Christmas mass at Christ the King church in Des Moines before returning to China January 3rd.
Ambassador Branstad spoke with Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell Wednesday in the Governor’s office. While unable to discuss embassy affairs, Branstad talks about recent travels to the Chinese border with North Korea.
“I’ve been to Truman, which is on the river that separates Jilin province of China with Korea,” Branstad said. “I was there three days after they had the nuclear test and met with the party secretary who’s the top person up there.”
Branstad works to address trade issues, as well as China’s role in distributing the powerful opioid medication, fentanyl and nuclear threats from North Korea.
“I think we’ve gotten more cooperation from China than we’ve ever gotten, but there’s still more that needs to be done to try and convince North Korea that the course they’re oinis the most dangerous thing to humankind,” Branstad said.
Branstad says he enjoys life in China.