In a telephone call, Xi told Trump — who frequently savaged Beijing on the campaign trail and threatened to impose a 45-percent tariff on Chinese-made goods — 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”, accused it of artificially lowering its currency to boost exports, and pledged to stand up to a country he says views the US as a pushover.
He has vowed to pursue a policy of “peace through strength” and build up the US navy.
But he also indicated he is not interested in getting involved in far-off squabbles, and decried the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, which encompasses several other Asian countries and has been seen as an effort to bolster US influence, for costing American jobs.
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.
In a statement, Trump’s office confirmed the call and said that “the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another”.
Trump “stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward”, it added.