Trump Offers Late New Year Message to China
He says he wants a 'constructive relationship'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2017 12:57 AM CST
Women walk past a Beijing news stand displaying a news magazine with a photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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(Newser) – President Trump has issued well-wishes to China for the Lunar New Year, the most important holiday in the world's most populous nation, saying he hoped to work with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to build a "constructive relationship." But his card must've gotten lost in the mail: Trump had been the only US president in recent years not to have issued greetings at the beginning of the holiday, which fell on Jan. 28 this year, triggering speculation in China as to whether it was an oversight or an intentional slight, the AP reports.

A statement from the White House late Wednesday said Trump wrote to Xi wishing the Chinese people greetings for the new year and for Saturday's Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the holiday. "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," the statement said. Trump has accused Beijing of unfair trade practices and currency manipulation, criticized China's military buildup in the South China Sea, and accused Beijing of doing too little to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs, the AP notes.

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