Chinese President Xi Jinping and US president-elect Donald Trump agreed in a telephone call Monday to meet “at an early date” to discuss the relationship between their two powers, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said on Monday.
Xi told Trump — who frequently savaged China on the campaign trail and threatened to impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports — that the world’s top two economies “need cooperation and there are a lot of things we can cooperate on,” CCTV reported.
Xi and Trump “vowed to keep close contact, build good working relations, and meet at an early date to exchange views on issues of mutual interest and the development of bilateral ties”, CCTV said.
Before his election Trump went as far as calling the Asian giant America’s “enemy” and pledged to stand up to a country he says views the US as a pushover.
But he also indicated he is not interested in getting involved in far-off squabbles, and decried the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, which encompasses several other Asian countries and has been seen as an effort to contain China, for costing American jobs.
The contrary positions have left a pall of uncertainty over how he will manage the relationship between the world`s two largest economies and its biggest and most powerful militaries.
CCTV cited Trump as saying in the call that China was a large and important nation that he was willing to work with, and that he believed Sino-US relations could realise “win-win” benefits.
The phrasing the broadcaster attributed to the US president-elect is typical of Chinese diplomacy.