Washington – U.S. President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, saying he was keen on developing a fruitful relationship that benefits both countries, according to the White House.
In a statement, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump has conveyed the communiqué to tell Xi he was looking forward to working with him “to develop a constructive relationship that benefits both the United States and China”.
Trump also thanked Xi for his note on America’s presidential inauguration day and wished the Chinese a prosperous Year of the Rooster, the statement added.
Analysts, however, raised questions on the fact that Trump has not held a conversation with Xi since his inauguration, despite finding time to speak to at least 18 world leaders.
Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, said that Trump’s holiday greetings had been “highly appreciated”.
The Chinese spokesman rejected claims that the lack of phone contact was a sign of rebuff by the U.S. administration.
“This kind of remark is meaningless,” he told reporters on Thursday, adding that cooperation was the only choice for the two countries.
Earlier this month, Lu called on the U.S. to avoid discussion on a Chinese-Japanese dispute over a group of islands and reasserted China’s claim of sovereignty over the tiny uninhabited islands, known in Japanese as the Senkaku and Chinese as Diaoyu.
“We urge the U.S. side to take a responsible attitude, stop making wrong remarks on the issue involving the Diaoyu islands’ sovereignty, and avoid making the issue more complicated and bringing instability to the regional situation,” he said.
Lu’s remarks came in response to U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who explicitly stated in Tokyo that the Trump administration would adhere to its promise to defend Japan’s continued administration of the islands.