Xi, Trump pledge to expand win-win cooperation, manage differences

A group of China supporters wave Chinese and US flags as they wait for the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping at Palm Beach international airport on April 06 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged co-operation with the United States on trade and investment, inviting President Donald Trump to visit China in a cordial start to their first meeting likely to broach sensitive security and commercial issues.

"I think we have made tremendous progress in our relationship with China", the White House cited Trump as saying after meeting with Xi, adding that the relationship developed by Xi and himself is "outstanding".

On Friday, after Trump and Xi met, Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said military actions will only worsen the suffering of the Syrian people and make the situation in Syria and the region more complicated and turbulent.

Trump had said he meant to raise concerns about China's trade practices and press Xi to do more to rein in North Korea's missile and nuclear programs during their summit meeting at his Spanish-style Mar-a-Lago resort though no major deals on either issue were expected. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the two sides agreed to speed up trade talks to help close a lopsided imbalance in China's favor, a common campaign-trail complaint of Trump's.

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.

Xi expressed "an appreciation" to Trump for informing him of the number of missiles that were launched and explaining the rationale behind the strike, said Tillerson.

Meanwhile, Trump, who is reeling from legislative defeats, low approval ratings and unrelenting scandals, desperately needs a win. "For the peace and stability of the world, we will also fulfill our historical responsibility". "Lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away".

In return, Xi hoped to obtain assurances from Trump on punitive tariffs and the delay of an American arms sale to Taiwan, at least until after a major Communist Party meeting later this year.

"We would like to see more results-oriented outcomes coming out of these new dialogues and fewer laundry lists", said Beijing-based Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S.

The officials signaled that the trading relationship between the two countries and North Korea's nuclear program were at the top of the agenda during the meetings, which took place here over 24 hours at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

"The posture between the two (leaders) really set the tone for our subsequent meetings between our high-level delegations", said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a press briefing following Xi-Trump meetings.

Military options against North Korea are much riskier than those against Syria.

According to US and foreign officials, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and economic adviser Gary Cohn are leading the charge for boosting ties and exploring the potential for greater economic co-operation. It was the first direct USA assault on the Russian-backed government of Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war.

There were "a thousand reasons" to make the China-U.S. relationship work, with "no reason to break it", Xi told Trump.

In fact, the North justifies its nuclear weapons as a necessary deterrent to the USA military threat and has over the past weeks warned that the biggest-ever joint U.S.

There are, of course, many aspects of fair treatment that will require major shifts in the way that Beijing does business, including the way it treats foreign-invested firms in China. The moves appeared to be a shot at China, which accounted for the vast bulk - $347 billion - of last year's $502 billion trade deficit.

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