Airstrikes on Syria might also send message to North Korea

US President Donald Trump delivers a statement on Syria from the Mar-a Lago estate in West Palm Beach Florida

US President Donald Trump delivers a statement on Syria from the Mar-a Lago estate in West Palm Beach Florida

Also in attendance were figures with less important-sounding titles, but potentially more influence over Trump's policy decisions, including chief White House strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

According to a statement on China's Foreign Ministry website, Mr Xi told Mr Trump: "We have a thousand reasons to get China-US relations right, and not one reason to spoil the China-US relationship".

The friendly tone was a far cry from Trump's acerbic campaign denouncements about China's "rape" of the United States economy and his vow to punish Beijing with punitive tariffs. The statement also said Trump had accepted Xi's invitation to visit China sometime in the next year.

North Korea marks several major anniversaries this month and often marks the occasions with major tests of military hardware. Chinese analysts also concluded the attack on Syria, launched in response to the al-Assad government's launch of a chemical attack on civilians which killed at least 75, was a signal to Xi the administration was prepared to order similar attacks on North Korea and its nuclear program. "We have made tremendous progress in our relationship with China", Trump told reporters as the two delegations met around tables flanked by large USA and Chinese flags.

Thursday and Friday marked the long-awaited first face-to-face meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. "That's the first time I've heard them say that in a bilateral context", he said.

But convincing the North Korean leader to negotiate remains a challenge, Blinken added, suggesting the USA could try "exerting so much pressure on Kim that he changes his calculus and sees that his best path to survival is actually through negotiations", while making clear that if the North engages in denuclearization, a peace treaty is certainly possible.

"We had a long discussion already".

"We would like to see more results-oriented outcomes coming out of these new dialogues and fewer laundry lists", said Beijing-based Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S.

Those tests occurred about one month after North Korea launched four medium-range missiles into the ocean simultaneously in a show of what the country deemed proof it could hit American military bases in Japan at will.

Wang Dong, Associate Professor of International Studies at China's elite Peking University, said the move may have had the added bonus in Trump's eyes of sending North Korea a message over its nuclear programme, but that China was unlikely to be fazed.

US President Donald Trump (R) welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) to the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6, 2017. It was the first direct US assault on the Russian-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war. He is reportedly in the midst of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles which could be capable of sending a nuclear warhead into a United States' territory.

China's public probably won't regard the strike as a message to their leaders unless the Trump administration makes the case explicitly, said Doug Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

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