Donald Trump and Xi Jinping 'made tremendous progress' at summit

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times said the meeting "served as an indicator that the China-U.S. 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".

White House officials have talked about getting tough with North Korea because of its expanding nuclear program, and China is helping to keep North Korea afloat.

The US began the deployment of the sophisticated missile defence system in South Korea last month to counter North Korea's increasing aggression in the region. "The relationship developed by President Xi and myself I think is outstanding", Trump said in contrast to the anti-China rhetoric of his 2016 election campaign.

Xi also spoke in positive but vague terms, saying: "We have engaged in deeper understanding, and have built a trust - a preliminary working relationship and friendship".

"It seems that both countries have understood the importance of how essential a smooth transition needs to be, and not just for the two countries involved here, but really for the entire world over", it said.

Many blue-collar workers helped propel him to his unexpected election victory on November 8 and Trump is under pressure to deliver for them.

During the campaign, he pledged to stop what he described as the theft of American jobs to China, and last week tweeted ahead of their meeting that it would be "difficult" as the USA should "no longer have trade deficits" with the country.

On Friday, Trump and Xi, politicians with distinctly different styles and experience levels, appeared cordial and businesslike in their interactions, with no outward sign of tensions.

  • Leroy Wright