Airstrikes on Syria might also send message to North Korea

Posted April 12, 2017

US President Donald Trump is reportedly visiting China after he accepted the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump's aides insisted he had made good on his pledge to raise concerns about China's trade practices and said there was some headway, with Xi agreeing to a 100-day plan for trade talks aimed at boosting USA exports and reducing China's trade surplus with the United States.

The friendly tone was a far cry from Trump's acerbic campaign denouncements about China's "rape" of the U.S. economy and his vow to punish Beijing with punitive tariffs.

Speaking after the two-day summit, USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson said China agreed to work with the U.S. to rein in North Korea.

Trump had hoped to use the trade issue as leverage to get China, North Korea's closest ally, to pressure the reclusive nation to give up its nuclear weapons programme.

Wu's trip was the first visit to South Korea by a senior Chinese official since the planned deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defence system led to a diplomatic row between Beijing and Seoul.

Trump had campaigned with strident anti-China rhetoric and had angered Beijing before taking office by talking to the president of Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own. After their first face-to-face at the Mar-a-Lago resort, he trumpeted they had developed an "outstanding" relationship.

Kim Yong-Hyun, a professor at Dongguk University said the strike against Syria was a statement of intent that was meant for a wide readership.

The airstrikes, announced shortly after Trump and Xi wrapped up dinner Thursday night, were retaliation against Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack against civilians caught up in his country's long civil war.

His comments come after Trump vowed to "solve North Korea" by himself amid fears the communist state has missiles that can reach the US.

"The two presidents agreed to elevate existing bilateral talks to reflect the importance of making progress on issues", Spicer said.

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Chinese state media on Saturday cheered the meeting as one that showed the world that confrontation between the two powers was not inevitable and established the tone for the development of U.S.

When Xi came to the U.S. 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.

There appeared to be little in the way of concrete achievements during 24 hours in the sun, but officials said that a rapport had been built that will carry on the next four years.

Xi invited Trump to visit China later this year.

As for the leader of China, he said he was greeted warmly by the Trump administration.

Ross declined to say whether the United States was ready to designate China a currency manipulator, however, referring to an upcoming report in which that issue would be addressed.

The highly anticipated U.S.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the USA and China "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". It was the first direct USA assault on the Russian-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war.

In Tokyo, the feasibility of US military action was downplayed, while South Korea said the focus remained on deterrence and readiness.

Both of these scenarios were part of a North Korea review prepared ahead of Trump's meeting with the Chinese leader.