Washington's swift response overnight Thursday to Syria's alleged chemical weapons attack wasn't merely an impulsive response from a U.S. president known for his impulsive behavior, but also contained a message to his guest at the time - Chinese President Xi Jinping - analysts say.
The eased tension in U.S. -China summit - as did several of his top aides - but they provided few concrete specifics other than China's agreement to work together to narrow disagreements and find common ground for cooperation.
But in a meeting with Jinping at his his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump discussed military options to deal with North Korea. Wang Wen, the executive dean at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies (CIFS) at the Renmin University of China, warned in the Financial Times that protectionist measures could backfire: "To be frank, the US economy cannot afford the cost of unemployment and price increases for millions of Americans who now benefit from US-China economic ties, and who would lose their jobs and livelihoods as the inevitable outcome of a trade war". Many blue-collar workers helped propel him to his unexpected election victory on November 8 and Trump is under pressure to deliver for them.
Trump already set the tone for his first face-to-face meeting with Xi by tweeting last week that the trade deficit would be key to the discussions.
After the talks, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that Trump and Xi have agreed to a new 100-day plan for trade talks that will boost U.S. exports and reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China, foreign media reported.
"We desperately need stronger enforcement against foreign competitors who cheat", the letter said.
"But I can see that, I think long-term, we are going to have a very, very great relationship and I look very much forward to it".
So, although Mr Trump claimed that he made "tremendous progress" in the US-China relationship during his talks with Mr Xi, the reality remains that both sides have merely staked their respective claims.
Xi also spoke in mostly positive terms. "He also noted the importance of protecting human rights and other values deeply held by Americans", Spicer said. "I believe we will keep developing in a stable way to form friendly relations ..."
"Well, I agree with you 100 percent", Trump replied.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US and China "agreed to increase cooperation and work with the global community to convince the DPRK to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons programs".
From his first day in office, Trump has made reversing the USA trade deficit one of his priorities.
After the meeting, Trump took Xi on a walk around the manicured grounds of his lavish Spanish-style complex.
Xi invited Trump to visit China later this year.
This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows an image captured on April 7 of the northwest side of the Shayrat air base in Syria, following U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strikes on Friday, April 7, 2017 from the USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Porter (DDG 78). -China dialogue by putting the two presidents at the head of the forum.
Despite his tough campaign talk, Trump has so far not followed through on his threat to formally brand China a "currency manipulator", nor to hit Chinese imports with punitive tariffs. The highly anticipated U.S.
President Trump's limited, proportional missile strike on a single Syrian air base had a clear objective: Punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for having launched a chemical weapons attack that killed over 85 of his citizens and deter him (and others) from engaging in similar WMD-related war crimes. The move was in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack by Bashar Assad's government.
As many as nine civilians, including four children were killed in the United States missile attack on a military airbase in central Syria on Friday.
Tillerson said Xi agreed with Trump that North Korea's nuclear advances had reached a "very serious stage".
"(We) are prepared to chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to coordinate with us", said Tillerson.