Setting aside its differences with the Obama administration, China is reported to be willing to work with Donald Trump to improve US-China relations. Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his first telephonic conversation with the president-elect, reportedly said cooperation is the only choice that Beijing has.

Xi reaffirmed the importance of relations with the US under Trump, who was openly critical of the communist regime during his campaign.

Xi congratulated Trump on Monday (14 November) on his historic victory and said cooperation was the "only correct choice" for the world's two biggest economies, the Associated Press reported.

"At present, there is an important opportunity and huge potential in China-US cooperation," Xi told Trump.

"The two sides must strengthen coordination, promote the two countries' economic development and global economic growth, expand all areas of exchange and cooperation, ensure the two countries' people obtain more tangible benefits, and push for better development going forward in China-US relations," Xi said.

Both the leaders have promised to keep in touch and work towards building good relations. They have also agreed to "meet at an early date to exchange views on issues of mutual interest and the development of bilateral ties", AFP reported.

Trump's presidential transition office said early on Monday (14 November) that the president-elect thanked Xi for wishing him on his win.

"During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and president-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward," it said.

Trump also told Xi that he was willing to work with China and that both the countries can "definitely achieve greater development".

China has had strained ties with the Obama administration, especially over Washington's freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and Beijing's military expansion and assertiveness in the region. Trump had also lambasted Beijing creating headlines with his pledge to slap 45% tariffs on all China-made products that are imported into the US.

Despite that, Chinese state media largely favoured a Trump presidency for better bilateral ties. The communist regime is reported to have disliked Hillary Clinton over her promotion of the US "pivot to Asia" that was launched in 2012 when the Democrat was secretary of state. Chinese leaders viewed it as an attempt to contain China's rise.

G20 summit
Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to meet US president-elect Donald Trump at an early date Lintao Zhang/ Getty Images