Trump, Xi have 'candid,' 'positive' talks in Florida

The two leaders and members of their administrations met at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort in Florida on Thursday and Friday (April 6-7), although Mr Xi did not stay at the resort but at another one in the same Palm Beach area. "That is all I am telling you".

"President Trump noted the challenges caused by Chinese government intervention in its economy and raised serious concerns", Tillerson said. Not long after dinner the USA announced the missile barrage on an air base in Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack against civilians.

In the lead-up to the much anticipated summit, the Trump administration repeatedly warned that it would use "all options", including military strikes, to ensure that North Korea halted its nuclear and missile programs. Trump could be seen chatting and gesturing to Xi, who did the same.

"We have a thousand reasons to get China-U.S. relations right, and not one reason to spoil the China-U.S. relationship", Mr. Xi told Mr. Trump.

Tillerson said Xi told Trump that he "understood that such a response was necessary when people are killing children" and expressed "an appreciation" to Trump for informing him of the number of missiles that were launched and explaining the rationale behind the strike.

"In order for that to happen, North Korea has to change its posture", Tillerson said.

Trump informed the Chinese leader personally of the strike as the 59 Tomahawk missiles were winding their way to the Shayrat airbase.

"There is a real commitment to work together to see if this can not be resolved in a peaceful way", said Tillerson.

A White House statement said the two sides agreed on the urgency of North Korea's nuclear and missile threat, reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearised Korean peninsula, and committed to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions.

Xi was placed in the invidious position of being told by Trump over the dinner table that the U.S. military had just launched strikes on Syria-something that Beijing has publicly opposed and that could potentially involve conflict with Russian Federation, with which China has close political and military ties.

The Chinese response to the USA military action has been decidedly muted. However, she did not blame the Syrian government and called for an "independent and comprehensive United Nations investigation".

Tillerson was briefing reporters Friday after President Donald Trump's two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.

We "arrived at many common understandings", Xi added "the most important being deepening our friendship and building a kind of trust". Xi is seeking to consolidate his grip on power as he pushes for a second five-year term at the Chinese Communist Party congress later this year.

On North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, another issue where the two sides have huge differences, Mr Trump had also taken a hard line ahead of the meeting, saying the United States would go it alone on North Korea if the Chinese refused to cooperate.

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.

Trump also demanded that China adhere to global norms in the seas of East Asia, a reference to the risky flashpoints between China and its neighbours in the South China and East China Seas.

On other issues like USA arms sale to Taiwan - which China regards as a breakaway province to be reunited at some point in time - Mr Trump would not have given way on this and could even increase the quantity and quality of the arms sold to Taipei, said Prof Shi.

  • Leroy Wright