Xi, Trump pledge to expand mutually beneficial cooperation

Contrasting leadership of China and the United States

Contrasting leadership of China and the United States

That message may have been underscored by the USA missile attack on Syria that took place as the two leaders had dinner.

Protesters gather as the motorcade for President Donald Trump arrives at at the Trump International Golf Club, Saturday, April 8, 2017, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

In return, Xi hoped to obtain assurances from Trump on punitive tariffs and the delay of an American arms sale to Taiwan, at least until after a major Communist Party meeting later this year.

After predicting a "very difficult" encounter with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Donald Trump emerged from their first meeting hailing an "outstanding relationship" between chiefs of the world's biggest economies. Trump was meeting again wit.

XI JINPING, Chinese President (through interpreter): This bilateral meeting is a thoughtful and ingenious arrangement.

After meeting Xi, Trump called leaders in allies South Korea and Japan to ensure unity regarding Kim Jong Un's regime, while the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier was diverted to waters near North Korea instead of making a planned stop in Australia. They then set off on a short sightseeing tour of Alaska's largest city. The moves appeared to be a shot at China, which accounted for the vast bulk - $347 billion - of last year's $502 billion trade deficit. It's a two-way street, with Alaska's imports from China only lagging behind trade with neighboring Canada. China accounted for nearly 70 percent of last year's $500 billion USA trade deficit.

The Global Times tabloid said the meeting "served as an indicator that the China-US relationship is still very much on course since the Trump administration took office in January", and it was likely the two nations would develop a more "pragmatic relationship".

During their phone call, Xi told Trump that China is willing to continue working with the US on denuclearization, according to a brief description of the call released by the Chinese foreign ministry.

The US military began deployment of the Thaad system in March, a day after the North test-fired four ballistic missiles.

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. They reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearization of the divided Korean Peninsula.

The friendly tone was a far cry from Trump's acerbic campaign denouncements about China's "rape" of the U.S. economy and his vow to punish Beijing with punitive tariffs. He also noted the importance of protecting human rights, and asked China to adhere to worldwide norms in the seas of East Asia, Tillerson said.

The Republican president, who took office on January 20, tweeted last week that the United States could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses and that his meeting with Xi "will be a very hard one". China has every incentive to address these issues in a way that, while not selling out its own interests, appeals to Trump's conception of fair treatment. Peng is a Chinese contemporary folk singer and performing artist.

"President Trump said he and President Xi held in-depth discussions on the seriousness of North Korea's nuclear problem and how to respond to it, and also said he had conveyed the United States position on the Thaad deployment", the statement said. "So I think all of us are feeling very good about the results of this summit in terms of what it did for setting a very constructive tone going forward".

Trump also lauded his interactions with Xi, saying the talks had been "tremendous".

Xi made the two-day trip to the southeastern US coastal town of Palm Beach for the first meeting with Trump, in a bid to chart the course of bilateral ties in a new era.

Trump says they made "tremendous progress" over dinner Thursday, and he's predicting that even more progress will be made before Xi departs later Friday.

Tillerson said Trump had informed his guest of the military intervention towards the end of their dinner on Thursday night, at about 8.40pm local time.

Trump has also accepted Xi's invitation to visit China.

North Korea was at the top of the agenda at the summit in Florida despite being overshadowed by a missile strike on an airbase in Syria.

With a limited but decisive response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of banned sarin nerve gas on Syrian civilians, Trump won plaudits from previously skeptical US allies in Europe, as well as from some of his harshest critics at home.

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