Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Donald Trump on winning the U.S. presidency, state news outlet Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.
"I highly value the relations between China and the United States, and I am looking forward to working together with you to expand China-U.S. cooperation in every field, at the bilateral, regional and global levels," said Xi in a congratulatory message to Trump.
The comments come despite the fact that China has been a key focus for Trump's candidacy-- he has repeatedly bashed China for taking manufacturing jobs away from working-class Americans.
Despite threats to slap steep tariffs on Chinese imports, in addition to implementing restrictions on immigration and trade protections, experts believe that a Trump presidency will not strain U.S.-China relations as much as a Clinton administration.
"Clinton had repeatedly offended the Chinese with her incessant calls for human rights as a top priority and her instrumental position on the Asian pivot," said Ann Lee, adjunct professor of economics and finance at New York University, referencing the strategy adopted by the Obama administration in 2012 to deepen US focus and engagement in Asia. "Trump's position against TPP (The Trans-Pacific Partnership) is a relief to China, as is his desire to pull back U.S. military commitments from Japan and South Korea."
Shang-Jin Wei, professor of Chinese Business and Economy at Columbia Business School, added: "An across-the-board hike on tariffs on Chinese imports will be bad for both the United States, especially low-income consumers and firms that maintain their global competitiveness by using low cost inputs, and China."
Although a Trump presidency brings uncertainties, China watchers believe that's how the election outcome will affect the economic relationship between the U.S. and China still depends on the policies and actions of the entire new administration.
"A Trump Administration will expect a more balanced relationship with China where there is greater reciprocity from China on economic issues. Cooperation will be conditional on China providing greater access to American imports and investment," said Scott Kennedy, deputy director at Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
As a nervous market absorbs a surprising Trump presidency, it remains to be seen how two of the world's largest economies can keep pushing the engine for global economic growth.
"What China hopes for, and perhaps can expect, is that a Trump presidency will provide new opportunities for deal-making free from the criticisms of human rights issues which many Chinese leaders feel would have been emphasized by a Clinton Presidency," said Albert Park, economist at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
"Chinese leaders hope that Trump's background as a businessman will lead to an emphasis on striking agreements that are mutually beneficial economically, without undue politicization," said Park.