World

Xi stresses 'cooperation' in call to Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told US President-elect Donald Trump that cooperation is the only choice for relations between the world's two largest economies, with Mr Trump saying the two had established a "clear sense of mutual respect".

There has been intense speculation over the impact of Mr Trump's election victory last week on issues facing the two countries, from global trade and climate change to the security balance in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Trump lambasted China throughout his campaign, drumming up headlines with his pledge to slap a 45 per cent tariff on imported Chinese goods, and labelling the country a currency manipulator on his first day in office.

His win has injected uncertainty into relations at a time when Beijing hopes for stability as it faces daunting reform challenges at home, slowing growth and a leadership reshuffle of its own that will put a new party elite around Mr Xi late next year.

'CORRECT CHOICE'

In their first interaction since the Nov 8 US election, Chinese state media said Mr Xi told Mr Trump in a telephone call yesterday that as the world's largest developing and developed economies, there were many areas where China and the US could cooperate.

"The facts prove that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US," China Central Television (CCTV) cited Mr Xi as saying.

Mr Xi's remarks were a reiteration of phrasing typically used by Beijing to describe bilateral relations.

The two sides must "promote the two countries' economic development and global economic growth" and "push for better development going forward in China-US relations", Mr Xi said.

"During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward," a statement from Mr Trump's presidential transition office said.

The two agreed to maintain close communications and meet soon, CCTV said.

PHOTOS: AFP

Mr Xi  (above) had congratulated Mr Trump in a message delivered shortly after his surprise election victory.

- Reuters

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