Trump, Xi meet for first time

Secretary Commerce Wilbur Ross said the most significant part of the summit was President Xi's agreement to a 100-day plan for trade talks aimed at boosting US exports and reducing China's trade surplus with Washington.

The comments come as the two leaders wrapped up a Florida summit, and signal a U-turn from his anti-China rhetoric on the campaign trail previous year.

"They agreed to increase cooperation and work with the worldwide community to convince the DPRK to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons programs", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after the two-day summit in Florida, referring to the acronym of North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Ahead of the summit, he said in a tweet that the meeting would be "a very hard one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses". "We will be making additional progress". "I think truly progress has been made", and an "outstanding" relationship had developed between him and Mr. Xi, said Mr. Trump. And I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away, " Trump said.

But the two sides avoided any diplomatic gaffes at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that would have tarnished the meeting in the eyes of the protocol-conscious Chinese.

The start of the summit came on a night of high drama as Trump not only met his nearest peer in economic world power for the first time but also launched his first military strike on a state target.

At the top of the list, according to a source briefed on Xi's plans, was a package of Chinese investments aimed at creating more than 700,000 American jobs - the same number China's regional rival Japan pledged to Trump during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Mar-a-Lago visit in February.

"President Trump and President Xi agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect", he said.

On Friday, Mr. Xi returned to the resort in the late morning to meet with Mr. Trump and stroll around the grounds of Mar-a-Lago.

Tillerson also said that Trump accepted Xi's offer to make a state visit to China in the future. On Thursday, Arabella and Joseph, grandchildren of Trump, sang for Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan classic Chinese song Jasmine Flower and recited ancient Chinese poetries - in the company of their parents Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

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.

Even though China normally opposes any use of USA force overseas - and has consistently sided with Russian Federation in vetoing any anti-Syrian resolutions by the U.N. Security Council - the Syria drama may have been a welcome distraction for Mr. Xi, who was under pressure at home not to cede too much to the new US president in advance of a major Communist Party leadership meeting in the fall. He had threatened to slap punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and declare China a currency manipulator. It was the first direct USA assault on the Russian-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war. -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.

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.

The two leaders also agreed on the "urgency of the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons program" and agreed to work together to resolve the issue "peacefully", Tillerson said.

The Trump White House is anxious Pyongyang is just months away from marrying nuclear and long-range missile technology to put the US West Coast within striking distance.

  • Leroy Wright