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Donald Trump, in letter to Xi Jinping, seeks 'constructive relationship'

President Donald Trump. Photo: Bloomberg

President Donald Trump on Wednesday sent a letter to China's President Xi Jinping saying he looked forward to working with him "to develop a constructive relationship" that benefits both countries, the White House said in a statement.

The letter also thanked Xi for his congratulatory letter on Trump's inauguration and wished the Chinese people a prosperous Year of the Rooster, the statement said.

The letter is the first direct communication from Trump to Xi since he moved into the White House on Jan 20. Trump still hasn’t set up a call with Xi since then despite speaking on the phone with more than a dozen world leaders, although they did talk soon after Trump won the US presidential election in November. 

China's Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment on Trump's letter to Xi.

Trump is under pressure to take some sort of action against China after criticizing the nation repeatedly over trade on the campaign trail.

In tweets since his election win, Trump has questioned the One-China policy and criticized China's leaders for failing to do more against North Korea. Just last week, he again accused China of manipulating its currency.

The Foreign Ministry in Beijing said last week the two countries were remaining "in close touch".  That contact has been led by China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister. 

Yang told Michael Flynn, Trump's National Security Advisor, last week that China hopes it can work with the United States to manage and control disputes and sensitive problems.

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