United States strikes on Syria dominate Trump-Xi talks

A full US Navy strike group, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, has been diverted from Australia to the Western Pacific, in what many are calling increased vigilance on the part of the US, as North Korea continues to test newer, and more deadly, weapons in the region.

Chinese officials had feared that the two leaders' 24-hour encounter at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida might be marred by a campaign-style anti-China outburst from Mr Trump. Kushner and Ivanka's children - Trump's grandchildren - also made an appearance, welcoming Xi and his wife by singing a Chinese folk song and reciting a Tang-dynasty poem.

Chinese newspapers glossed over such thorny questions, putting a positive spin on the first face-to-face meeting between two of the world's most powerful men.

President Donald Trump today hailed the tremendous progress made by the U.S. in its relationship with China and said he expects "lots of very potential bad problems to go away" in future. Xi responded by saying the two had "arrived at many common understandings".

The two leaders also did not issue a joint statement or hold a joint press conference, a sign discussions are still taking place.

Trump spoke publicly of progress on a range of issues in his first U.S.

A senior intelligence official told the network that he doubted USA and China could find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

The Republican president, who took office on January 20, tweeted last week 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".

At the end of the summit Friday, Xi departed Florida for a more northern vista, landing in Alaska and requesting time with Gov. Bill Walker during a refueling stop in Alaska's largest city.

Some within US industry had suggested those earlier talks yielded little substance, and urged the Trump administration to scrap them until Beijing displayed more initiative to address complaints about its industrial policies. Both the USA and China were keen to understand the other's positions at the first meeting of their leaders, and they had modest success, reaffirming the importance of keeping lines of communication open.

After the meeting, Trump took Xi on a walk around the manicured grounds of his lavish Spanish-style complex.

In addition to the litany of human rights offenses the communist regime in Pyongyang has been accused of, Yonhap notes that North Korea keeps close ties to Syria and "has always been suspected of cooperating with Syria over nuclear programs".

Trump informed the Chinese leader personally of the strike and Chinese officials later warned against a "further deterioration" of the situation in Syria. But China must have also seen it as a blunt warning from Washington about its determination to deal decisively with North Korea.

The two leaders were joined Thursday evening by US First Lady Melania Trump, a former model, and Peng Liyuan - a celebrated folk singer Trump hailed as a "great, great celebrity". Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai hosted the event.

The statement may have lacked specifics, but was significant in that it committed the United States - at least temporarily - to continue cooperating with the worldwide community in looking to blunt North Korea's drive to become a viable nuclear power.

He also last week signed a pair of executive orders focused on reducing the US trade deficit, an apparent shot at China, which accounted for the vast bulk - $347 billion - of last year's $502 billion trade deficit.

"It's s basically Trump's response to high expectations from his voters, following his repeated complaints about China's unfair trade barriers and practices and widening trade deficits", Huang said.

- The leaders set up a new dialogue framework to discuss bilateral problems in four areas, including security and the economy. The attack was a response to the alleged chemical attack in Syria's Idlib, which Washington blames on Damascus.



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