Donald Trump named Time person of 2016                            

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Donald Trump named Time person of 2016                            

NEW YORK: (APP) Donald Trump selected a Midwest governor with close ties to China as ambassador to Beijing as he was named Wednesday Time's "person of the year" and signalled tough "American first" economic policies.

The president-elect announced his selection of Iowa's Terry Branstad, a key Trump supporter and one of the longest-serving governors in the country, at a fundraising breakfast in New York on Wednesday, a spokesperson confirmed.

China responded swiftly by calling Branstad an "old friend," indicating that his nomination may ease disquiet sparked in America's largest trading partner when Trump took a protocol-busting phone call with the leader of Taiwan.

The maverick real estate tycoon, who has never previously held elected office, has lashed out at China accusing Beijing of currency manipulation, unfairly taxing US exports and militarizing the South China Sea.

The phone call risked a serious rift with Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory. China has urged Washington to block President Tsai Ing-wen from passing through the United States, after reports said she may stop in New York.

"We're going to defend American jobs," the incoming Republican president said Tuesday in Fayetteville, North Carolina on the second leg of an unorthodox  victory tour of key swing states that helped secure his shock election.

"We have to look at it almost as a war," he added.

Trump boasted of securing a $50 billion Japanese investment to create 50,000 American jobs and his intervention last week to save hundreds of manufacturing jobs from leaving Indiana for Mexico.