Chinese president Xi Jinping called U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday night to congratulate him on his election victory and encourage cooperation between the two nations.
Trump was harshly critical of China during his presidential campaign. But on Monday, a statement from Trump's office said "he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward."
Xi said cooperation was the "only correct choice" for the two nations.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the two sides have agreed to maintain close contact, build good relations and work toward a meeting between Xi and Trump "as soon as possible."
Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China was willing to push for "greater-progress in China-U.S. ties" based on "non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation," according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
China is a great and important country, and China's development is remarkable.
Why this might get tricky
Trump threatened to hit China with a 45 percent import tariff, accusing them of unfair trade practices. He also said China's recently-built man-made islands were a sign of disrespect. China also tends to side with Russia, which often opposes U.S. foreign policy, as in Syria and the deployment of U.S. missile defenses in South Korea.
China's claims of territory in the South China Sea have also raised eyebrows. But if the Unites States dials back support for South Korea or Japan (pictured in a South China Sea drill above), that may benefit China.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.