Trump Brags of 'Tremendous Progress' in Summit With Xi
But Syrian airstrike casts shadow over meeting with Chinese president
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2017 3:50 PM CDT
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President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping pause as they walk together at Mar-a-Lago, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alex?Brandon)

(Newser) – Last week, President Trump tweeted that his meeting with the Chinese president "will be a very difficult one"—not a surprising prediction given Trump once accused China of having "raped the US," but apparently an incorrect one. The BBC reports Trump ended his two-day summit with Xi Jinping by crowing about the "tremendous progress" made by the two. He says they now have an "outstanding" relationship and that "lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away," according to Reuters. Xi echoed Trump's positive generalities and invited the US president to visit China soon, an offer Trump accepted. Chinese state media reported positively on the summit, noting that Trump's granddaughter sang and recited poetry in Chinese, the New York Times reports.

Despite the rosy words, there was one dark cloud hanging over the meeting. Xi is likely to be privately angry about the timing of the US airstrike on Syria, which occurred in the middle of the summit. Not only did it break with Chinese protocol, but it upstaged Xi, who had hoped to use the meeting to be seen by the world as Trump's equal. China typically sides with Russia in support of Assad and opposes unilateral military action. Experts believe Xi and China are more likely to take Trump's threats against North Korea seriously following the airstrike, which may result in China doing more to pressure the regime of Kim Jong Un.

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