Trump claims friendship formed after meeting with Xi Jinping but says 'only time will tell' on trade

Harriet Sinclair

US President Donald Trump has claimed "tremendous goodwill and friendship" was formed during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but issued a mixed message on trade.

Trump met with the president and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Mar a Lago resort in Florida on Thursday and Friday this week (7-8 April) and suggested the meeting had gone well.

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In a series of messages shared on his Twitter page, Trump wrote: "It was a great honor to have President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan of China as our guests in the United States.

"Tremendous goodwill and friendship was formed, but only time will tell on trade."

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Trump also shared a message written by his daughter Ivanka that praised performances from her children Arabella and Joseph in honour of their guests.

The US president has previously talked tough on trade issues concerning China – in particular blaming China for the loss of US manufacturing jobs.

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Additionally, Trump has been clear he wants to see a reduced trade deficit with China, recently issuing an executive order for an examination of the deficit.

Despite this, it is believed the pair held productive talks, with Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claiming the meetings went well.

"President Trump and President Xi agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect," Tillerson told Reuters.

However, as Trump's tweet stressed, only time will tell how the two leaders will tackle the topic of trade.

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