Trump to talk North Korea, trade with Xi
North Korea and trade will likely top the agenda when US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping sit down for formal talks, a day after Trump warned Pyongyang of the grave danger of developing nuclear weapons.
China has been keen to show the importance it puts on Trump's visit, the first by a foreign leader since the end of a key Communist Party Congress last month where Xi cemented his power.
Xi took Trump and his wife on a tour of the Forbidden City on Wednesday as they began their Beijing tour.US government shutdown averted
China has repeatedly pushed back at suggestions it should be doing more to rein in North Korea, which does about 90 per cent of its trade with China, saying it is fully enforcing UN sanctions and that everyone has a responsibility to lower tensions and get talks back on track.
Trump used some of his toughest language yet against North Korea in a wide-ranging address in Seoul on Wednesday that lodged specific accusations of human rights abuses, although he offered no evidence to support the accusations.
He also called on countries around the world to isolate Pyongyang by denying it "any form of support, supply or acceptance".British PM faces Brexit backlash
There was no immediate public mention of North Korea from either Trump or Xi as they wrapped up their festivities at the Forbidden City, where Xi gave Trump the rare honour of a personal tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
"Looking forward to a full day of meetings with President Xi and our delegations tomorrow. THANK YOU for the beautiful welcome China! @FLOTUS Melania and I will never forget it!" Trump said on Twitter after the visit and dinner there.
Chinese state media praised the tone of the initial get-together on Thursday, part of what China has promised will be a "state visit plus" for Trump.End of the line for Angela Merkel?
"Trump seems to be pragmatic on his Beijing policy, and has no interest in ideological diplomacy. He hasn't used the issue of human rights to make trouble for China so far, and this means the Sino-US relationship can focus on substantive matters," influential tabloid the Global Times said in an editorial.
Still, there are deep differences.
Trump has ratcheted up his criticism of China's massive trade surplus with the United States - calling it "embarrassing" and "horrible" last week - and has accused Beijing of unfair trade practices, fuelling worries of increased tension between the world's two largest trading countries.Trump wants immigrants from 'everywhere'
For its part, China says US restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States and on high-tech exports need to be addressed.
On Wednesday, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross oversaw a signing ceremony in Beijing for commercial deals worth about $9 billion on Trump's visit, and more are expected.