China's Xi Jinping says 'watching closely' following US election

China's President Xi Jinping looks on before meeting with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Halll of the People in Beijing on Dec 2, 2016.
China's President Xi Jinping looks on before meeting with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Halll of the People in Beijing on Dec 2, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese President Xi Jinping told former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger on Friday (Dec 2) that China was watching US politics "very closely" following the presidential election won by Republican Donald Trump.

Trump lambasted China throughout the US election campaign, drumming up headlines with his pledges to slap 45 per cent tariffs on imported Chinese goods and to label the country a currency manipulator.

Xi told Trump that cooperation was the only choice for China and the United States in a telephone call a few days after his victory.

"The presidential election has taken place in the United States and we are now in a key moment. We on the Chinese side are watching the situation very closely. Now it is the transition period," Xi told Kissinger in comments posted on the foreign ministry website.

"Overall, we would like to see the China-US relationship move ahead in a stable and sustained manner," Xi said.

China and the United States must "uphold continued stable development of mutually beneficial bilateral trade relations,"he said.

Xi met US President Barack Obama on the margins of a regional summit in Lima last month where he called for a "smooth transition" in Beijing's relationship with the incoming cabinet.