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Originally published Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 10:49 AM

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Obama offers congrats in call to Chinese president

President Barack Obama has made a congratulatory phone call to the new Chinese president.

Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

President Barack Obama has made a congratulatory phone call to the new Chinese president.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says Obama spoke to Xi Jingping (shee jihn-peeng) Thursday as the Communist Party leader was elevated to the presidency. Xi takes over for Hu Jintao, China's president for the past decade.

Carney says more details of the call will be announced later. But he describes ties to China, the most populous country in the world, as "a very important relationship" for the United States.

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