Trump, Xi end summit with 'tremendous' progress

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Trump said in a brief appearance before reporters Friday that he and Xi made "tremendous progress" in their talks.

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.

U.S. President Donald Trump's first meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, took place at Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on April 6.

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". "I think truly progress has been made", and an "outstanding" relationship had developed between him and Mr. Xi, said Mr. Trump.

This time, President Trump has made a decision to hold the meeting at a luxurious resort to make the first meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping less formal, according to White House aides.

Xi said that the two countries must promote a "healthy development of bilateral trade and investment", Reuters reported.

"We have engaged in deeper understanding, and have built a trust - a preliminary working relationship and friendship", Xi said.

Sitting with Mr. Trump during a major national security incident gave the Chinese leader an "unprecedented" opportunity to view at close range how the USA leader, less than 100 days into his presidency, acts under pressure, John Park, a specialist on Northeast Asia at Harvard Kennedy School, said in a telephone interview.

As the two leaders wrapped up a Florida summit overshadowed by United States missile strikes in Syria overnight, Xi joined Trump in papering over, at least in public, deep differences over issues ranging from trade to North Korea.

Tillerson also said that the prepared to chart its "own course" if necessary, echoing Trump's repeated warning that the USA will take unilateral action unless China helps rein in the North.

On Thursday night, conservative US news media painted the Syria hit as a bold but calculated warning to China. While there was a minor improvement in the relation between the two countries, there were strong disagreements on issues like human rights and maritime security. "Trump is very hard to predict, so there is a lot of uncertainty in this meeting".

When he concluded, Mr. Trump said: "I agree 100 percent".

Days before his meeting with Xi, Trump said he was ready to deal with North Korea alone if China did not do more to restrain Pyonyang. It was the first direct US assault on the Russian-backed government of Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war. China has increased pressure and imposed restrictions on some South Korean companies doing business in China, which led many in the South to believe Beijing was retaliating against the deployment of the missile system.

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.

In a possible harbinger of the kind of punishments Washington could inflict, a leading Chinese telecoms company, ZTE, was fined almost $900 million in March for shipping sensitive USA -made technology to Iran in violation of US sanctions.

China seems to understand that a moment could come when Trump considers using force against the North, and it will want to head that off. Beijing clearly wants denuclearisation, but stability on the peninsula is still its highest priority.

Stone Fish says the Chinese will see Syria as a metaphor for North Korea.



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