U.S. President Donald Trump has broken the ice with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a letter that said he looked forward to working with him to develop relations, although the pair haven’t spoken directly since Trump took office.
The letter thanked Xi for his congratulatory note on Trump’s inauguration and wished the Chinese people a prosperous Lunar New Year of the Rooster, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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.
Trump and Xi have yet to speak directly since Trump took office on Jan. 20, although they did talk soon after Trump won the U.S. presidential election in November. In a seperate report CNN said that since his election, Trump had challenged Beijing over a range of issues -- slamming its military build-up in the South China Sea, its currency and trade policies and, perhaps most controversially, upending decades of diplomatic protocol by questioning a longstanding US policy towards Taiwan.
On Thursday, the widely read Global Times tabloid, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, noted that Trump had not immediately confronted China as had been expected, because he had realized upsetting Beijing would backfire badly.
CNN added as Trump reached out to Beijing, it was confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet with Xi in May on the sidelines of a major economic summit, according to Russian state media.
BEIJING/WASHINGTON, (reuters), 09.02.2017 -