Xi Summit's Top Accomplishment: Getting to Know Each Other

Chinese president Xi Jinping has invited Donald Trump to pay a state visit to China later this year during a intensely choreographed visit to the billionaire's Florida estate that was shunted from the headlines by the airstrikes on Syria.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his USA counterpart Donald Trump's first meetings underscored attempts by the two sides to avoid "strategic misjudgement" though differences remained over thorny issues like currency and trade, the state-run media said in a commentary today.

"I do think it necessarily sends a signal to Xi Jinping that this is a president that means business", Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Guardian, adding, "It will play into how China will view Trump".

"We have made tremendous progress in our relationship with China", Trump said without getting into specifics.

US officials said the two sides agreed to increase cooperation on trying to get North Korea's to abandon its nuclear weapons program, and China acknowledged the need for more balanced trade with the U.S.

The US president has previously talked tough on trade issues concerning China - in particular blaming China for the loss of US manufacturing jobs.

Trump has repeatedly hammered China for exporting more to the USA than it buys.

Trump's barnstorming presidential campaign previous year appeared to set him on course for conflict with China, which he accused of rigging forex markets and cheating at trade to steal American jobs.

After the meeting, Trump and Xi walked around the grounds of his Florida resort and had a working lunch before Xi's motorcade left the resort on Friday.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the USA and China "agreed to increase cooperation and work with the global community to convince the DPRK to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons programs". "That wouldn't eliminate their existing program ... but it would at least stop them from continuing to flawless the program because testing is vitally important to figuring out how to make their missiles better, their nuclear weapons effective and to develop an ICBM that could hit the United States".

Xi does not like surprises, and the fact he was photographed shaking Trump's hand and smiling at his declaration of "friendship" while the US made a surprise military move was not going to be popular in China.

North Korea has carried out tests to develop a nuclear missile.

Although Trump during the presidential election campaign had pledged to label China a currency manipulator on the first day of his administration, he has refrained from doing so.

"This is a rogue regime that is now a nuclear-capable regime, and President Xi and President Trump agreed that that is unacceptable, that what must happen is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", he said.

Nevertheless, the strikes against Assad's government in Syria - which Pyongyang considers an ally - are likely to have added weight in the North's eyes to Trump's recent threat to act unilaterally against North Korea's weapons program.

The phone talks came after Trump and Xi agreed Friday to work together closely to convince North Korea to curb its nuclear program in their summit talks.

The China Daily, an English-language mouthpiece, also brushed over the United States strikes, with headline writers instead focusing on a "new era" of ties with Washington.

The talks were overshadowed by a crisis in Syria as Trump, just before his his dinner with Xi, ordered a massive military strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation to a "barbaric" chemical attack on civilians allegedly by embattled President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

As this statement comes, it is worth noting that UPI reported Kim Jong-un congratulated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before the USA strike Thursday for "great successes in the creation of an independent and prosperous country and ensuring regional peace and security".

Trump days before meeting Xi warned that the USA was prepared to act unilaterally to stop North Korea's nuclear advances should China be unwilling to use its leverage over Pyongyang.

  • Leroy Wright