Trump, Xi showdown fails to materialize at Mar-a-Lago

Ivanka Trump's children serenade Xi Jinping in Mandarin

CGTN's Nathan King reports from Palm Beach in Florida.

Mr Xi, his wife, and a number of advisors met with Mr Trump on Thursday and Friday to discuss trade, environmental protocol, and worldwide policy. North Korea, for its part, test-fired a ballistic missile ahead of the Trump-Xi meeting.

The brief, two-day summit will conclude with a working lunch on April 8, but the meeting may have a lasting impact on worldwide politics for some time to come.

The two leaders had a smile on their faces as they shook hands during their first face-to-face encounter.

Trump and Xi agreed to increase cooperation and work with the global community to convince North Korea to peacefully resolve the issue and dismantle its illegal nuclear and missile programmes, Spicer said, adding that the two sides had a candid discussion on regional and maritime security. In two days, the leaders did not hold a joint press conference and spoke only briefly to those reporters present.

The meeting of the leaders of the world's two largest economies was largely overshadowed by the USA missile strike on Syria.

According to a White House press release, the two sides noted the urgency of North Korea's threat and agreed to work together to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.

Earlier in the day, Trump said that "tremendous progress" was made in USA relations with China.

Ahead of the summit, Trump signed a pair of executive orders focused on reducing the USA trade deficit.

He took his top economic and national advisers to Florida, including US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

"They agreed to increase cooperation and work with the worldwide community to convince the DPRK to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons programs", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after the two-day summit in Florida, referring to the acronym of North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Some experts interpreted the strike as a warning to North Korea that the USA is prepared to act militarily to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.

What can Trump do about trade with China? But he also made it clear that the "prepared to chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to coordinate with us".

Mr Trump - who previously accused China of "raping" the United States - called his relationship with Mr Xi "outstanding" and said they made "tremendous progress".

In this historic first meeting with the Chinese leader, President Trump is under considerable pressure to fulfil his campaign promise to address trade deficits and bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from China.

US officials say President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to increase cooperation on trying to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, and China has acknowledged the need for more balanced trade with the U.S. He did not elaborate. China has repeatedly used its place as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to veto strikes on Syria - most recently in January.

"The most interesting thing to me was they expressed an interest in reducing their net trade balance because of the impact it's having on money supply and inflation", Ross said. Yet this is the second straight US junket where he's been forced to play second fiddle.

Nevertheless, the strikes against Assad's government in Syria - which Pyongyang considers an ally - are likely to have added weight in the North's eyes to Trump's recent threat to act unilaterally against North Korea's weapons program. China's response to the airstrikes was muted.

US officials are expected to offer a readout of the meeting later Friday. Liu focused instead on the need for a political solution to the six-year Syrian conflict.

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