Chinese President Xi Jinping today told his American counterpart Donald Trump that there were "a thousand reasons" to make the Sino-US ties work and "no reason" to break them as they met for the first time amid tensions over trade and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
Trump and Xi are expected to discuss North Korea's nuclear and missile development, the South China Sea dispute, trade and foreign exchange policy, and the pressing issue of Syria, among other issues. "I can see that and I think long-term we're going to have a very very great relationship and I look very much forward to it".
The Chinese leader is expected to be in Mar-a-Lago until Friday afternoon. But economist David Dollar of the Brookings Institution says that go-slow approach from the Trump administration is actually a good thing.
U.S. president Donald Trump welcomed Chinese president Xi Jinping and his wife to his private club in Florida on Thursday evening, and then announced he had bombed Syria, one of China's allies.
Traveling with Trump are first lady Melania Trump, Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce secretary Wilbur L. Ross, chief of staff Reince Priebus, adviser Steve Bannon and National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster.
The Chinese government recently canceled construction of more than 100 coal-fired power plants and is investing at least $360 billion in green energy projects by 2020.Trump, meanwhile, has vowed to bring back mining jobs that have been lost through automation and closure of USA mines, as the country has turned to the use of cheaper natural gas.
Experts said that the timing of Trump's strike could affect their negotiations over how to handle North Korea's nuclear threat.
Trump and Xi are also scheduled to sit down together again for a working lunch. Trump had told reporters on Air Force One that he would be focusing their talks on North Korea and trade.
The bilateral investment treaty mentioned by Xi, talks on which began during former president George W. Bush's administration and resumed under Barack Obama, has received little attention since Trump took office.
Chinese internet users claimed their leader had come out on top from the initial exchange with Trump. The strikes were retaliation against Syrian president Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack against civilians caught up in his country's long civil war.
Zhang Lifan, a Chinese historian, speculated that another reason authorities overseeing the local media were so cautious Friday was because Xi could be potentially embarrassed if Trump gets tough with him on North Korea.
Tillerson said Thursday that the summit meeting will include "very frank" discussions.
In their first summit talks that opened in Florida earlier in the day, Xi extended an invitation for Trump to visit China.
"The Trump administration is deeply distrustful of China", said Ashley Townshend, a University of Sydney academic who wrote a recent report on the billionaire's plans for Asia. Trump told a group of American CEOs this week he wants to have a business-like conversation with Xi about what he sees as a very problematic trade imbalance between the US and China.
"I think trade is the incentive", Trump said.
"President Trump needs to come away from the meeting with concrete deliverables that will restore production and employment here in the U.S. in those sectors that have been ravaged by China's predatory and protectionist practices", said Holly Hart, legislative director for the United Steelworkers union.
For his part, Mr Xi will seek assurances from Mr Trump on USA arms sales to Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province that must reunify with the mainland.