Then there are the president's own idiosyncracies.
Disagreements on trade have "adversely affected" industries from both countries as well as global trade, Xi said. And he has previously made concessions to USA adversaries that have drawn backlash from both Democrats and Republicans.
"He wants to do it", Trump said of Xi. The decision was roundly lambasted in Congress.
"Bilateral tensions over strategic issues such as Taiwan, the South China Sea and the arms race will continue and may be at risk of escalating", he said. 'Also had good discussion on North Korea!'
And Trump's history of reneging on agreements is presumably well understood in Beijing. It was unclear if Trump was easing up on US demands that China has resisted. "But China very much wants to make a deal", he said. -China trade talks can not resume until Beijing outlines specific actions it would take to meet US demands for sweeping changes to policies on technology transfers, industrial subsidies and market access. "But it will be a good deal for the United States".
China and the United States can overcome their differences and get relations back on track if they work together in a spirit of mutual respect, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a group of visiting USA politicians on Thursday.
"The best possible outcome of the Xi-Trump meeting would be a suspension of imposing tariffs on each other, but the United States would continue its all-out blockade on China's technology development", said Shi Yinhong, a professor on worldwide relations at Renmin University and an adviser to Beijing.More news: EPL: Two reasons Liverpool decided not to sign Aaron Ramsey revealed
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 4.2 per cent, the SSE Composite rose 2.7 per cent and Toyko's Nikei gained 2.56 per cent as traders interpreted the call as... "We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade", the USA president tweeted.
After their last publicly reported phone call in May, Trump rekindled trade talks by easing sanctions on Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp, only for negotiations to break down days later.
President Donald Trump said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on trade and North Korea ahead of a meeting planned between the two leaders at the G20 summit next month.
"There's no massive movement to deal with China", he said.
James Zimmerman, a partner with the Beijing office of law firm Perkins Coie and former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, questioned Trump's sincerity with regards to a possible trade deal.
Trump's posture toward China has been closely watched by investors, who are looking for the possibility of tensions cooling.
Xi on Thursday said he looks forward to meeting with Trump at the G20 in Argentina, according to China's state media.