Obama congratulates China's Xi on election as president

WASHINGTON Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:03pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Organizing for Action dinner in Washington, March 13, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Organizing for Action dinner in Washington, March 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday offered his congratulations to new Chinese President Xi Jinping after he was formally elected to the post and told him that Washington looked forward to working with the leadership team in Beijing, the White House said.

"This is a very important relationship and an important series of issues that we deal with on a regular basis," White House spokesman Jay Carney said when asked whether Obama used the phone call to discuss U.S. cyber security concerns. Carney declined to cite specifics.

China's parliament formally elected Xi as president earlier on Thursday, completing the country's second orderly political succession since the Communist Party took power in 1949. The 59-year-old Xi was appointed party and military chief - where real power lies - in November.

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick)

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