Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

The Heat: Xi-Trump Summit wraps up in Florida


When Xi came to the USA two years ago, Trump attacked the former president Barack Obama's red-carpet welcome, claiming he would have offered a Big Mac rather than a state dinner to a leader whose country he has accused of "raping" the American economy. By demonstrating a willingness to use military force if lines are crossed, Trump sent a clear message with direct implications for handling North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

He did not elaborate on the progress or the problems.

He said that his intention for the summit was to raise concerns about China's trade practices, and to urge Xi to do more to control North Korea's missile and nuclear programs. "Each side also brought a senior delegation that was also able to build relationships for the work ahead", Spicer said.

There has been talk in China about how the US airstrike on Syria could influence the Trump-Xi meeting and what it signals to the Chinese about North Korea.

At his confirmation hearings, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States would prevent China from accessing the islands to which it lays claims of sovereignty. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

A much heavier risk would be required to take military action against the nuclear-armed North, which has its artillery and missiles trained on a key USA ally, South Korea.

China has called for the resumption of diplomatic talks over the nuclear threat and has objected to the USA deployment of a missile-defence system in South Korea.

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Trump told the Financial Times in the days before Xi's arrival that he is prepared to go it alone on North Korea if China doesn't work with the U. But just as the leaders were gathering for dinner, the US carried out the strike on Syria.

President Trump announced late Thursday that he ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian army airbase believed to house the equipment used for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib province. It was the first direct USA assault on the Russian-backed government of Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war. China typically sides with Russian Federation in support of Assad and opposes unilateral military action.

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"For President Xi, this will be embarrassing internationally because in so many settings and so many venues China has condemned the United States for unilateral military action in the past, and this is certainly a unilateral action, " he said.

The open agenda and the personal setting for the 24-hour summit are created to allow the leaders to freewheel and build a rapport, in what is the world's most important relationship. The leaders were scheduled to meet again for lunch on Friday.

Trump aides who participated in the talks described a productive first meeting between the leaders, saying they exhibited "positive" chemistry.

U.S. President Donald Trump's first meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping took place at Mar-a-Lago resort.

Given the range of issues and the magnitude, that may be ambitious, but it's a very big sea change in the pace of discussion. "And if so - and if that's how the Chinese read it - then I think that's a very aggressive message". But they offered no details about how they planned to achieve that.

The ministry made no mention of retaliating against Beijing and said that it would only strike South Korean and U.S. bases in accordance with the August 1949 Geneva Conventions.

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.

The US leader appeared confident when Xi arrived at the Florida venue, even hazarding a joke about his own reputation as a dealmaker.

But in signs that showed the two nations were divided over the issue, Tillerson said there was "no kind of a package arrangement to resolve this" and that the United States was prepared to act alone.

Information for this article was contributed by Vivian Salama and Julie Pace, Mark Thiessen and Becky Bohrer of The Associated Press; by Jane Perlez and Yufan Huang of The New York Times; by Toluse Olorunnipa, Jennifer Jacobs and Nick Wadhams of Bloomberg News; and by David Nakamura, Emily Rauhala, Luna Lin and Jin Xin of The Washington Post.

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