China: Outgoing President Hu Jintao Lauded by Obama, Xi
Outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao has won praise from his US counterpart Barrack Obama for improving relations between the two countries and smooth transfer of power, including the post of head of the military, to the country's new leader Xi Jinping.

In his message to Hu acknowledging his contribution to ties between the two countries, Obama recalled concerted efforts he made with Hu to build a cooperative US-China partnership and promote the friendship between the two sides.

In the coming years, he would remain committed to advancing US-China relations and building a cooperative partnership, which was conducive to the welfare of the two peoples and would help facilitate regional and global peace and prosperity, Obama said in his message, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

Hu's decision to quit from Chairman of the powerful Military Commission unlike his predecessor Jiang Zemin who retained the post for two years after retiring as General Secretary and President in 2002 has been praised by the country's new leader Xi.

Terming Hu's decision to quit as Chairman of the all powerful Military Commission "unusual twist to China's leadership transition", Xinhua said that Xi who took over as the Head of the Commission praised Hu for "exemplary conduct and nobility of character."

Presiding over the first meeting of the new Commission yesterday, Xi told the military officials that Hu voluntarily asked for not serving the posts of the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the CMC.

"Chairman Hu's important decision fully embodies his profound thinking of the overall development of the Party, country and military," Xi, who would be taking as President in March, said at the meeting.

"The decision also embodies his exemplary conduct and nobility of character," Xi said, adding that Hu has "pushed China's military development one giant step forward based on achievements made under the leadership of Chairman Mao Zedong, Chairman Deng Xiaoping and Chairman Jiang Zemin".
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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