Trump ordered Syrian air strike before dinner with Xi

The two leaders have both refused to take questions from reporters, and even before the strike they were not scheduled to hold a joint press conference.

"We would be happy to work with them", Tillerson said of the Chinese leadership.

"The relationship developed by President Xi and myself I think is outstanding".

Trump pressed Xi to do more to curb North Korea's nuclear programme in their summit meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

There was little evidence of Xi's promised "tweetable deliverables" created to smooth ties, but they may be rolled out during a 100-day plan on trade.

The missile strikes hit the government-controlled Shayrat air base in central Syria, where USA officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off. The closest Xi came to mentioning North Korea's nuclear and missile programs was urging "proper" handling of "regional hotspots" and calling for strengthened U.S.

The U.S. administration's first recourse is very likely to be economic - pushing China to crack down on Chinese banks and companies said to provide North Korea access to the global financial system.

The fanfare over the summit on Thursday was overshadowed by another pressing foreign policy issue: the US response to a deadly poison gas attack in Syria.

He also said, "tremendous progress" had been made in the U.S.

The U.S. airstrikes this week were aimed at a Syrian air base, but nearly certainly got the attention of another adversary - North Korea.

Trump had promised during the campaign to stop what he called the theft of American jobs by China.

Patrick Cronin, a China expert with the Center for a New American Security, said the Trump administration does not have "a reconciled trade and economic policy yet, and the differing views on China in the White House underscore that". Trump has accused China of "raping" the U.S. and argued that it has engaged in trade abuses to gain an advantage over the US. "We look forward to being together many times in the future and I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away", he said without elaborating. He did not elaborate.

Bill Bishop, a Sinologist who tracks China's state media and political machinations, said it was possible that China would have a more forceful response once Xi had returned from his trip, but not now.

In a tweet Friday night, Ivanka Trump said she was proud of her children, Arabella and Joseph, for performing for the presidents during their visit to the Palm Beach residence.

Trump's position on the democratically-ruled Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province, has been a major irritant in the Sino-US relationship since the billionaire politician accepted a protocol-breaking phone call from the Taiwanese president after his election victory. For the peace and stability of the world, we will also fulfill our historical responsibility, " Xi said Friday, according to Reuters.