Trump, Xi meet for first time

Kristopher Drake
April 12, 2017

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

He agreed to visit China at a later date, implying the two men had built up a rapport.

Mr Xi, his wife, and a number of advisors met with Mr Trump on Thursday and Friday to discuss trade, environmental protocol, and global policy.

JOHN YANG: Today, Mr. Trump said he's looking forward to frequent meetings with President Xi.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier said that Trump and Xi would have "very frank discussions" over issues like trade and North Korea.

"We had long and in-depth communication, " Xi said through a translator. As Trump and Xi were wrapping up dinner, US forces fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase from which it said the chemical weapons attack was launched this week, an escalation of the USA military role in Syria that swiftly drew sharp criticism from Russian Federation.

Behind closed doors, the top item on Trump's agenda is North Korea.

Tillerson said there was no "no kind of a package arrangement" on the issue.

Trump was meeting again with his Chinese counterpart Friday, with US missile strikes on Syria adding weight to his threat to act unilaterally against the nuclear weapons program of China's ally, North Korea. China has increased pressure and imposed restrictions on some South Korean companies doing business in China, which led many in the South to believe Beijing was retaliating against the deployment of the missile system. "He also noted the importance of protecting human rights and other values deeply held by Americans", Spicer said.

The two leaders will likely spend Friday in a series of working sessions. He said the two issues "really do mix". 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 anticipated showdown between the United States and China over trade and North Korea has ended with little sign of confrontation — or concrete progress in resolving differences. They also played golf together.

Xi and his wife did not stay at Mar-a-Lago, but at a resort a short drive down the palm-fringed coast that was watched by marksmen, tactical units and a coastguard cutter. Trump accepted the invitation.

"They should be happy if they get something fairly symbolic", said Jacques deLisle, who teaches Chinese law and politics at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

To boost bilateral ties, Xi underlined the importance of further enhancing economic, military and law enforcement cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

Speaking to reporters while traveling to Florida, Trump suggested a link between "terrible" trade agreements the US has made with China and Pyongyang's provocations.

"China welcomes the USA side to participate in cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative", said Xi.

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.

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.

The meeting of the leaders of the world's two largest economies was largely overshadowed by the U.S. missile strike on Syria.

Trump outraged China in December when he took the unorthodox step of accepting a phone call from the Taiwanese president.

For his part, Xi was expected to seek assurances that Trump will not interfere in the territorial dispute over the South China Sea or question the "One China" policy by reaching out to Taiwan's leader again, as Trump did during the transition.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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