Nov 7, 2012

China - China congratulates Obama on re-election

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BEIJING: Chinese leader Hu Jintao congratulated US President Barack Obama on his re-election, noting "positive progress" in Sino-US relations over the past four years, China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

"President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao sent messages of congratulations to President Obama on his being re-elected president of the United States," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing.

China will "look to the future and make continuous efforts for fresh and greater progress in the building of the China-US cooperative partnership," Hong said shortly after Obama's re-election.

Obama swept to an emphatic win over Mitt Romney, declaring victory after picking up crucial swing states.

The election comes just before China's ruling Communist Party meets on Thursday for a congress where it will announce a once-a-decade transition in its top leadership.

When Obama took office, he called for a broader relationship with Beijing, seeing opportunities for cooperation with the rising power on areas such as the global economic crisis and climate change.

But the Obama administration's views hardened in 2010 as Southeast Asian nations and Japan accused Beijing of aggressively staking claims to disputed territories, a move that China has eyed with suspicion.

Vice President Xi Jinping, who is almost certain to take the ruling Communist Party's top post of general-secretary during the congress, also sent a message of congratulation to Vice President Joe Biden, the foreign ministry spokesman said.

- AFP/xq

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