Trump explained USA position on THAAD to Xi - S.Korea

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping established a new framework for high-level negotiations on a range of issues and pledged to make progress on trade negotiations within the next 100 days during meetings here Thursday and Friday, top USA officials said.

As the two presidents went into their final lunch there were no specifics though, and in the aftermath of the US missile strike on Syria, all the big questions which bedevil the US China relationship have been kicked down the road for President Trump's visit to China later this year.

"We have made tremendous progress in our relationship with China", Trump said effusively at the close of a high-stakes but studiously familiar first meeting between the pair at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Just last week, Trump wrote in a Twitter message that the United States could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses and that his meeting with Xi "will be a very hard one".

In remarks to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump said the roughly $310 billion US trade deficit with China is high on the agenda.

Trump said Xi and his representatives have been "really interesting" to talk to and he believes the two sides will continue to make progress in solving issues between the two sides. "And I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away".

As the two leaders wrapped up a Florida summit overshadowed by U.S. missile strikes in Syria overnight, Jinping joined Trump in stressing the positive mood of the meetings and at the same time papering over deep differences that have caused friction between the world's two biggest economies.

"We have engaged in deeper understanding, and have built a trust - a preliminary working relationship and friendship", Xi said. "For the peace and stability of the world, we will also fulfill our historical responsibility".

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla.

As a candidate and president, Trump has taken an aggressive posture toward China, labeling Beijing a "tremendous problem" and arguing that lopsided trade deals with China shortchange American businesses and workers.

Trump replied: "Well, I agree with you 100 percent".

Trump and Xi, who oversee the world's two largest economies, met for the first time.

"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.

Trump and Xi also agreed to explore new ways to enhance military dialogue.

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.

Historically, China has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

President Xi did not immediately react publicly to the USA airstrike in Syria.

However, after meetings on Thursday, Trump announced he had ordered missile strikes against Syria - placing Xi in a somewhat precarious position.

"There were people at the protests with not just banners and placards, everyone was also wearing specially printed T-shirts", US -based pro-democracy activist Jia Kuo told RFA on Friday.

Trump briefed Xi about Thursday's strike, the first US military action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and the Chinese leader showed understanding that "such a response was necessary when people were killing children", Tillerson said at a press briefing with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.



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