US President Donald Trump praised Xi Jinping as a "very good person" after calling up the Chinese leader to congratulate him on his new five-year term. "Now some people might call him the king of China," Trump commented.
Trump and Xi talked on the phone on Wednesday, following the Chinese Communist Party congress which saw Xi tighten his grip on power and win another term as China's president. Most notably, however, Chinese officials wrote Xi's name and thinking into the party's constitution, putting him on a par with party founder Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, the leader who is widely credited with modernizing China.
The US leader congratulated Xi his "extraordinary elevation," according to a tweet posted by Trump.
In an interview with Fox Business Network, Trump also said Xi was "a powerful man" and a "very good person."
"People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he's called president also," he told Fox's Lou Dobbs. "Now some people might call him the king of China. But he's called president."
The two leaders also discussed North Korea and trade, Trump said on Twitter.
Trump is set to visit China and meet Xi next month as part of his Asia tour.
In turn, China's state news agency Xinhua said that Xi wanted to "jointly blueprint future development of China-US ties," with Trump.
Read more: Xi Jinping - China's Great Helmsman 2.0
Xi told Trump that China would "unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development" and promote "coordination and cooperation among world major powers," the report added.
dj/rc (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)