FIRST AIRED: February 9, 2017

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Transcript

00:00:00
>>
APPLAUSE
>> Since moving into the White House, Donald Trump's phone has been busy. The new US president chatting with more than a dozen world leaders with one big exception, China. Now he's finally broken the silence with a letter to President Xi Jinping. Saying his looking forward to a quote, constructive relationship, but why no call?
00:00:23
Reuter's Ben Blanchard explains.>> For China when they do these kinds of calls, everything really has to be arranged ahead of time. China really wants to know what's going to be said. Now with President Trump, of course there's a lot of uncertainty. He's a very unpredictable person. So for China, for a call to take place for any embarrassing details to be leaked subsequently into the US media would be extremely humiliating for China.
00:00:47
So the message the we've been getting here from sources is that China really has been in no rush to actually have a telephone call between the two leaders.>> Case in point, the tense call between Trump and Australia's Malcolm Turnbull which strained ties between the staunch allies. Sources say the letter for President Xi was a good way for Trump to send a positive signal while avoiding a diplomatic disaster.
00:01:11
>> The statement that came from the White House didn't mention any contentious issues like Taiwan, the South China Sea or trade. And did also mention President Trump's rather belated wishes to the Chinese people for a happy lunar new year. That's something that will be taken quite positively in Beijing.
00:01:27
>> China's state media has its own take on the whole phone call situation, speculating that Trump is trying to avoid a confrontation. One newspaper saying that even though the US President has vowed to go tough on China, he's now worried about setting off a quote, chain reaction beyond his control