Trump sees 'great chemistry' with Xi as key to North Korea, trade balance

PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. PlayAP Photo/Andy Wong
WATCH Trump changes tone on China and trade

President Donald Trump expressed optimism after a meeting Thursday morning with Chinese President Xi Jingping that warm personal ties with the leader of a country he's frequently disparaged will translate to progress on North Korea and trade.

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"Our meeting this morning was excellent discussing North Korea," Trump said, seated across from Xi in the Great Hall of the People. "I do believe there's a solution to that, as you do."

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)The Associated Press
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump, second right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, attend a bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
U.S. President Donald Trump, second right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, attend a bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.

Looking Xi in the eye, Trump also acknowledged what he has called a greatly unfair trade relationship that has hurt American workers and businesses.

"We've gotten so far behind with China," the president said. "I have great respect for you on that because you represent China ... but we'll make it fair, and it will be tremendous for both of us."

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a business event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. The Associated Press
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a business event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)The Associated Press
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Despite the warm words, there has been little indication of any substantive breakthrough on either front ahead of the summit here in Beijing.

But Trump seems to be banking on a sharply different tone toward China -- and warmer personal relationship with Xi -- to produce outcomes that frustrated his predecessor for eight years.

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"My feeling toward you is an incredibly warm one. ... There is great chemistry," Trump told his host. "And it is a very very great honor to be with you."

He added, "We have a capacity to solve world problems for many many years to come," he said. "I believe we can solve almost of all of them –- probably all of them."

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