President Donald Trump's airstrikes in Syria are overshadowing his highly anticipated meeting with President Xi Jinping of China at Mar-a-Lago. Still the leaders appear to be off to a good start.
"The relationship that has developed by President Xi and myself, I think, is outstanding. We look forward to being together many times in the future and I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away," said President Trump before his afternoon meeting with President Xi.
Behind closed doors, the top item on Trump's agenda is North Korea. The rogue nuclear regime has recently fired a series of missile tests with at least one landing in Japanese waters.
This week a senior White House official said the situation in North Korea is "now urgent, we feel the clock is very quickly running out".
That follows a separate senior White House official calling North Korea the greatest threat to America. The president now says every option is on the table. It's a statement that has teeth as the president demonstrated his willingness take unilateral military action in Syria.
90- percent of North Korea's trade is with China and President Trump has made it clear he doesn't think China is helpful in working to de- nuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Harry Kazianis with the Center for the National Interest expects to see North Korea launch more missiles more frequently as it works to strengthen its offensive capabilities.
"North Korea could put biological weapons, they could put chemical weapons, they could even get some crude radioactive material- stick it on a missile and lob it at the United States. That would have a very, very, very scary effect on the United States, its allies, so it doesn't have to be a nuclear weapon."
The other giant issue on Trump's agenda is trade. The trade imbalance between the U.S. and China was a major topic of Trump's stump speeches during his campaign. Together the U.S. and China make up 40% of the global economy. Senior White House officials say the president intends to have a frank but productive conversation with President Xi about how the U.S. is getting the short end of the stick.
President Trump is also expected to raise human rights abuses with President Xi. The communist regime has recently clamped down even more on Chinese Christians. Taking aggressive steps to contain growth including rezoning and demolishing churches. Despite the threat of persecution, reports indicate approximately 100 million Chinese worship in underground churches.
Before his meeting, Trump extended an olive branch by promising to honor the One China Policy - meaning the U.S. will maintain formal ties with China and not Taiwan. Although the island operates as an autonomous nation, China views it as a breakaway province that will one day be reunited with the mainland.