Missile strike punctuated Trump talks with China's Xi on North Korea

Missile strike punctuated Trump talks with China's Xi on North Korea

In a series of tweets Saturday morning, President Donald Trump thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for the "honor" of his two-day visit to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, and congratulated "our great military men and women" who were involved in the missile attack he ordered Thursday night against a Syrian airfield.

President Donald Trump says he has "developed a friendship" with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as he welcomed him to the United States for their first summit.

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times said the meeting "served as an indicator that the China-U.S. relationship is still very much on course since the Trump administration took office in January" and it was likely the two nations would develop a more "pragmatic relationship".

Spicer said Trump underscored the need for China to take concrete steps to level the playing field for American workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access.

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. US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refused to categorically rule out that the United States would move to designate China a currency manipulator, for example.

Trump's remarks came shortly before the U.S. launched a cruise missile strike against Syria after Bashar al-Assad's regime used poison gas to kill scores of children.

In a briefing on the outcome of the summit, Tillerson added that while the two leaders focused on both countries' commitments to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, there "was no kind of a package arrangement discussed to resolve this". Indeed, just as unexpected conflagrations in the region stemming from the Arab Uprisings drew attention away from the Obama administration's "rebalance" to Asia, so did Trump's Syria strikes depress the significance of the Mar-a-Lago meeting. It banned coal imports from North Korea earlier this year after the murder of Kim's half-brother, who South Korean intelligence said had been living under Chinese protection.

On Friday, the unpredictable Trump not only set a different tone but also avoided any public lapses in protocol that Chinese officials had feared could embarrass their leader.

Trump s position on democratically ruled Taiwan - which China considers a breakaway province - has been an major irritant since he accepted a protocol-breaking phone call from the Taiwanese president after his election victory.

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Kim Hong-kyun (L), South Korea's chief envoy on North Korea issues, poses for a photo with his US and Japanese counterparts, Joseph Yun (C) and Kenji Kanasugi (R), during a meeting in Washington on February 27, 2017.

The two leaders also discussed North Korea and threat posed by its weapons programme. About 40 percent of the trade surplus is actually generated by U.S. companies in China.

Trump and Xi are spending part of Friday in talks at Trump's estate in Florida.

Xi reciprocated Trump s warm words, saying the summit had "uniquely important significance" and thanking Trump for a warm reception.

Environmentalists fear climate collaboration between the U.S. and China - one of the brightest spots of relations under Barack Obama - will suffer now that Trump, who has called climate change a Chinese hoax, is in the White House.

"President Trump and President Xi agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect", he said. "The objective is for us to increase our exports to them".

"We are prepared to do more", he said.

"Some forces are loud-mouthed that the recent USA military attack on Syria is an action of warning us but we are not frightened by it", the official continued.