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Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Trump

Trump used strong rhetoric against China in the campaign

Washington CNN  — 

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump this week, saying the two countries “shoulder a special responsibility” as the world’s largest developed and developing nations.

“China pays high attention to the Sino-US relationship and hopes to develop a sound, long-term and stable relationship with the US,” Xi said.

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Xi added he hoped to “settle all disputes with the US in accordance with the principle of nonconfrontation.”

Xinhua, the nation’s official news agency, said Xi sent a congratulatory message, not specifying how the message was delivered.

Chinese officials said there was no phone call. CCTV News Content on Saturday retracted its earlier report that Xi congratulated Trump in a phone call.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal in a story published Friday that he has spoken with or heard from “most” leaders except Xi.

Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN later on Friday that the Wall Street Journal story is “accurate.”

Trump may have to work on his relationship with the Asian powerhouse after he’s taken to strong rhetoric against the country, saying at a campaign rally in May, “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing.”

He’s also accused China of stealing US jobs and he threatened high trade tariffs against the country.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect conflicting reports on the nature of Xi’s message to Trump.

CNN’s Noah Gray, Nicole Gaouette and Elise Labott contributed to this report.