(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla.
Since he was on the campaign trail, Trump has repeatedly criticized what he sees as China's unfair trade practices and its reluctance to exercise its economic leverage over North Korea to curtail Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Chinese had expressed an interest in reducing China's trade surplus as a way of controlling their own inflation.
The two leaders instead broadly vowed to work more closely to get the North to abandon its nuclear weapons, a vow that Pyongyang has heard many times before.
They include placing more missile defenses in the region, having a greater US military presence on the seas, and sanctioning anyone, including Chinese firms and individuals, that does business or facilitates business with the Kim regime.
But in public Mr Xi stuck to his script about the virtues of co-operation while Mr Trump insisted they'd formed an outstanding relationship and made great progress.
As for the US trade deficit with China, another focus of the summit, the two leaders agreed to a 100-day plan for trade talks aimed at reducing the deficit, but they failed to give specifics.
But the two leaders did not hold a press conference.
Meanwhile, in a posting on its website on Saturday, China's foreign ministry said the countries had agreed to "properly" deal with issues of trade friction. Some experts interpreted the strike as a warning to North Korea that the U.S. is prepared to act militarily to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.
China has opposed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea which it and the United States say is aimed at countering North Korea's missile threat. For China, whose foreign policy bureaucracy continues to wrangle with the overall direction of Trump's foreign policy amid mixed signals, factoring these tendencies in United States decision-making on the North Korean problem and the South China Sea will be a necessity.
Historically, China has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It would appear to broaden the framework used to discuss major issues for the past eight years, known as the U.S. A Beijing trip by Trump before the once-in-five-year Communist Party congress later this year would "send a signal of Xi's strength and confidence", said Taylor Fravel, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in China's worldwide relations.
However, the bad-blood began to subside in the lead-up to Thursday's meeting after Trump backed away from threats to challenge Beijing over Taiwan and failed to follow through on threats to label China a currency manipulator on day one of his administration.
Many Republican members of Congress welcomed the more forceful stance against North Korea, but there was disagreement in the Democratic ranks.
The Trump administration is reviewing secondary sanctions on Chinese financial institutes and companies that are involved in illegal business with North Korea.
In a possible harbinger of the kind of punishments Washington could inflict, a leading Chinese telecoms company, ZTE, was fined almost USD900 million in March for shipping sensitive US -made technology to Iran in violation of USA sanctions.
"If we judge that they have perfected that type of delivery system, then that becomes a very serious stage of their further development", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday on ABC's "This Week".
"All of us are feeling very good about the results of this summit". "It is significant that comprehensive and inclusive discussions took place putting considerable weight on the agenda on our key interests, the North Korea nuclear issue and the Korea-U.S. alliance issues".