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China's president called Trump to congratulate him and encourage cooperation

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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.

China's take

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.
Trump, according to Chinese state-run media

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.

Japan south china sea.jpg
FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 file photo, Japan Coast Guard security team members display tracking and capture drills by rigid-hulled inflatable boats against an unidentified ship at sea in Yokohama near Tokyo during an inspection tour by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte proposed joint military exercises with Japan during his visit to Tokyo, while reiterating that he will not conduct them with Americans in his presidency. Duterte made the proposal during his visit to a coast guard unit to observe an exercise from one of the patrol vessels Japan pledged to provide the Philippines to upgrade Manila's maritime security capabilities, largely in response to China’s strong assertions of its South China Sea maritime claims. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP, File)

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.

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