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US President breaks ice with Chinese counterpart in letter seeking 'constructive' ties

The two presidents have not talked since Donald Trump took office on January 20, 2017.

President Donald Trump.

It said that the two presidents have not spoken directly since Trump took office.

According to a statement from the White house, “the letter thanked Xi for his congratulatory note on Trump’s inauguration.

“It also wished the Chinese people a prosperous Lunar New Year of the Rooster.

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“President Trump stated that he looks forward to working with President Xi to develop a constructive relationship that benefits both the United States and China,” it said.

China also said that it attached great importance to China-U.S. ties.

“We highly appreciate President Trump’s holiday greetings to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press briefing.

Asked whether it was a snub that Trump had held calls with many other world leaders as president, but not Xi, Lu said: “This kind of remark is meaningless.”

He reiterated that China and the U.S. had maintained “close communication” since Trump took office and that cooperation was the “only correct choice”.

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“China is willing to work with the U.S. in adhering to the principles of non-confrontation, mutual respect and mutual benefit to promote cooperation, control disputes.

“Also on a healthy and stable foundation, promote greater development in China-U.S. ties,” Lu said.

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