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Donald Trump notes Xi Jinping's 'extraordinary' rise

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US President Donald Trump has congratulated Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on his “extraordinary elevation” after he consolidated his power at the Communist Party congress.

Mr Xi cemented his hold on China for the next five years when he was re-elected leader with no clear successor.

His name and doctrine have been written into the constitution.

The two leaders are due to hold talks at a state visit to China next month, having met at the G20 summit in July.

The pair also discussed North Korea and trade, President Trump said in a tweet.

In their phone call, Mr Xi expressed a desire to work with Mr Trump to “jointly blueprint future development of China-US ties”, Chinese state media report.

China has the world’s second-largest economy after the US, its biggest trading partner.

Relations have been strained by Beijing’s territorial disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea with Washington’s allies in East Asia.

Beyond 2022?

On Wednesday, Mr Xi was formally handed a second term in office at the close of the Communist Party congress in Beijing.

He is now on a par with the founder of the state, Mao Zedong, and questions have been raised over whether the 64-year-old intends to rule beyond 2022.

Five new appointments were made to the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, China’s most powerful body.

There had been speculation Mr Xi would elevate his protégé Chen Miner and Guangdong party secretary Hu Chunhua, both of whom are in their 50s and young enough to be credible successors.

But the fact that the new appointees are all in their 60s, and likely to retire at the end of this five-year term, fuels speculation about Mr Xi’s long-term intentions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram in which he said the re-election showed Mr Xi’s “political authority” and the “broad support” his policy to develop China and strengthen its international position enjoyed.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in congratulated Mr Xi on his re-election in a letter, writing that he looked forward to creating a “practical strategic partnership”.

Foreign press barred

Mr Xi has assumed an unprecedented number of positions since coming to power in 2012, including the title of “core” leader of China.

His first term has been marked by significant development, a push for modernisation and increasing assertiveness on the world stage.

It has also seen growing authoritarianism, censorship and a crackdown on human rights.

He has spearheaded a sweeping anti-corruption campaign which has seen more than a million officials disciplined. It has been seen by some as a massive internal purge of opponents.

Major Western news organisations were barred from Wednesday’s ceremony to reveal the new Politburo Standing Committee.

Officially no reason was given for barring the BBC, Financial Times, Economist, New York Times and Guardian, but unofficially journalists were told that their reporting was to blame – another sign of Xi’s determination to control the message at home and abroad.

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