President Donald Trump entered a second day of talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday hoping to strike deals on trade and jobs after an overnight show of strength in Syria.
On Friday, after Trump and Xi met, Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said military actions will only worsen the suffering of the Syrian people and make the situation in Syria and the region more complicated and turbulent.
On trade issues, Trump also called for China to "level the playing field" for American workers, stressing the need for reciprocal market access.
On Thursday, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump donned a red dress to welcome Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, to the Mar-a-Lago estate, a color that symbolizes happiness and prosperity in Chinese culture.
The highly anticipated US-China summit was upstaged by US missile strikes overnight against a Syrian air base from which Trump said a deadly chemical weapon attack had been launched earlier in the week.
For his part, Xi told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that he gained a better understanding of the USA president and that the two had cemented their "mutual trust, [and] reached many major consensuses". And these are the kinds of progress that give us the greatest concerns.
But the surprise USA military response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians threw a wild card into the summit.
USA missile strikes on a Syrian airbase were "an unforgivable act of aggression", North Korea has said, adding that this showed its decision to develop nuclear weapons was "the right choice a million times over".
U.S. options to try to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes include economic and military measures but lean more towards sanctions and increased pressure on Beijing to rein in its reclusive neighbour.
China Daily said both parties appeared "equally enthusiastic about the constructive relationship they have promised to cultivate". National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster also described the stationing of the U.S. Navy strike group near the Korean Peninsula as a prudent decision.
The swift action in Syria could be interpreted as a signal especially to defiant nuclear-armed North Korea - and by extension, its ally China - as well as other countries like Iran and Russian Federation of Trump's willingness to use military force.
"And I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away", he added.
In Beijing, China's Foreign Ministry urged all parties in Syria to find a political settlement.
"This may be ambitious, but it's a big sea change in the pace of discussions", Ross said.
North Korea has been pursuing its nuclear and missile programs at an unprecedented pace since a year ago, with an aim to expand its deterrence against Washington and diversify its line-up of nuclear-equipped missiles, another expert said.
Some experts think North Korea has tried to make sure the two world leaders are aware Pyongyang has a bargaining chip in any forthcoming moves to clam down on its weapons programmes.
For Xi, who is entering a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress in the fall, the meeting with Trump was more about stabilizing the critical U.S.