Xi, Trump Pledge to Expand Mutually Beneficial Cooperation, Manage Differences
Apr 20 2017
As the Chinese President Xi Jinping was preparing for a summit with new US President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago Florida resort, Trump announced US missile strikes on Syria's Homs airfield.
Xinhua, China's official news agency, said Xi had invited Trump to make a state visit to China in 2017 and that the USA president had "accepted the invitation with pleasure, and hoped to make the trip at an early date".
In a tweet on Saturday, Trump wrote of the meeting: "goodwill and friendship was formed, but only time will tell on trade".
Speaking after the two-day summit, USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson said China agreed to work with the U.S. to rein in North Korea.
Xi said his first meeting with Trump bears unique significance to the development of China-U.S. ties.
Trump s barnstorming presidential campaign past year appeared to set him on course for conflict with China, which he accused of rigging forex markets and cheating at trade to steal American jobs. "I think that the Chinese will be expressing some anger privately to the United States".
The leaders of the world's two most powerful economies are a study in contrasts - one a softly spoken Communist Party apparatchik and the other a brash Manhattan property tycoon.
While Xi's visit to Florida Thursday and Friday did not produce a joint statement, Washington and Beijing have agreed to work on containing North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
Trump's position on democratically ruled Taiwan - which China considers part of its territory awaiting reunification - has been a major irritant since he accepted a protocol-breaking phone call from the Taiwanese president after his election victory.
Trump told Xi about the missile attack as the two heads of state finished dinner on Thursday evening.
Analysts are closely watching the rapport that Trump and Xi can build to assess the future of the world's most important global relationship.
As a candidate and president, Trump has taken an aggressive posture toward China, labeling Beijing a "tremendous problem" and arguing that lopsided trade deals with China shortchange American businesses and workers. North Korea is developing missiles capable of hitting the United States.
The two leaders also discussed North Korea and threat posed by its weapons programme.
On the domestic political front, Xi is preparing for a party congress that could cement his grip on power for years to come, and needs to show he can deal with the USA leader as an equal.
Trump spoke publicly of progress on a range of issues in his first U.S.
"The relationship developed by President Xi and myself, I think, is outstanding, " Trump said Friday during a meeting between the two countries' delegations. But he said Trump now needed to work with Congress to set a future course.
There appeared to be little in the way of concrete achievements during 24 hours in the sun, but officials said that a rapport had been built that will carry on the next four years.
"But in return, the United States must do something that the Chinese want us to do, which is to engage in direct negotiations with Kim", he said.
Trump also said he would prefer that the Federal Reserve keep interest rates relatively low.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the USA and China have agreed to increase cooperation on trying to get North Korea's to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
Perhaps mindful of parallels that could be drawn over defiance of worldwide norms, North Korea denounced the USA missile strike on Syria as "intolerable", and reiterated its own right to self-defense.