- The Washington Times - Friday, April 7, 2017

President Trump said Friday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were making “tremendous progress” in forging a cooperative relationship during their first face-to-face meetings.

“We have made tremendous progress in our relationship with China,” Mr. Trump said in brief remarks to reporters brought in for a photo-op of the meeting at the president’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

He did not give specifics about areas of agreement.

“I think truly progress has been made,” Mr. Trump said, adding that he expected additional progress in the future.

“I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away,” he said.

The high-stakes talks coincided with Mr. Trump ordering missile strikes against Syria in retaliate for President Bashar Assad’s deadly chemical weapon attack on his own people. The strikes were launched Thursday night as Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi dined at the club.

At the meeting, Mr. Trump did not respond to a reporters’ questions about potential action against the unpredictable and nuclear-armed regime in North Korea, one of the top issues on Mr. Trump’s agenda with Mr. Xi.

Mr. Xi said the meeting was “very unique.”

“It has an especially important meaning for the future development of China-U.S. relations,” he said, via an interpreter. “We have had lengthy and deep communication.”

When he concluded, Mr. Trump said: “I agree 100 percent.”

The leaders of the world’s two largest economies met at a long conference table in the club’s Gold Room. About a dozen officials from both the U.S. and China joined in the bilateral talks.

The U.S. delegation included Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, senior adviser Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell.

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