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07 Apr 2017

Trump welcomes Chinese President Xi to America for talks

US President Donald Trump welcomed his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida for their first bilateral summit.

Trump said both leaders had "developed a friendship" just as they sat for dinner.

Trump is expected to push China to act on North Korea while Xi will seek assurances from the US on Taiwan.

They are also expected to discuss trade.

In context

Trump-Xi Summit

No China bashing

Trump tones down rhetoric on China, all smiles at dinner

Trump had said the summit "will be a very difficult one."

During his election campaign, Trump had accused China of "raping the US" and had vowed to label Beijing a currency manipulator.

He had said the US' trade deficit with China and job losses couldn't be tolerated.

Yet, it was all smiles as Trump, Xi and the leaders' wives met for dinner.

Reports: Chinese fear Trump may embarrass Xi

The Chinese are reportedly worried that President Trump may embarrass Xi by breaching protocol, ahead of a crucial Communist Party congress in November. "Ensuring President Xi does not lose face is a top priority for China," a senior Chinese official told Reuters.

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Xi's statement

Xi urges Trump to improve US-China trade ties

Xi said both America and China should promote the "healthy development of bilateral trade and investment," China's Foreign Ministry said.

"We have a thousand reasons to get China-US relations right, and not one reason to spoil the China-US relationship," Xi told Trump.

Trump has reportedly accepted Xi's invitation to visit China later this year.

On North Korea

Trump wants China to pressurize North Korea over weapons testing

It is crucial for Trump to get China to persuade North Korea to halt its unpredictable activities such as the ballistic missile tests.

The nuclear-armed North is trying to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US.

Trump had earlier threatened to apply secondary sanctions on Chinese banks and businessmen linked to North Korea.

China claims its influence on Pyongyang is limited.

Syria strikes

US' strikes in Syria may overshadow Xi's visit

As Trump and Xi retired post dinner, America launched missile targeting a Syrian airbase in response to the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun.

China has along with Russia blocked UN resolutions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"It somewhat weakens the image of Xi as a strong statesman on the world stage" and will "distract" media coverage away from the summit, an expert said.

08 Apr 2017

Trump accepts Xi's invitation to visit China following positive summit

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that President Donald Trump has accepted Chinese President Xi Jinping's invitation to visit China.

Tillerson said Trump would go on a "state visit" this year but gave no further details.

"Both the atmosphere and the chemistry between the two leaders was positive...all of us are feeling very good about the results of this summit," Tillerson said.

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