"There were rumors that when China and the US talk about the North Korea issue they would use Taiwan as a bargaining chip", mainland affairs minister Katherine Chang told a visiting group of USA journalists on Monday, adding that the Taiwanese government was "cautiously optimistic" this would not happen.
Trump has long railed against China's massive trade surplus with the United States. "I don't blame China", he said, faulting "past administrations" for letting China get ahead.
"After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the sake of its citizens?" "Now, with that being said, he represents China, I represent the US, so, you know, there's going to always be conflict", Trump recently told the Fox Business Network. Facing political headwinds back home - including sagging approval ratings, an investigation into his campaign's ties to Russian Federation, and this week a resounding defeat for Republicans in state elections - Trump has basked in the thrall of making new friends. Though Taiwan was not expected be a major focus of talks with China's president, some anxious that the issue may come up during discussions of North Korea's weapons program or trade.
The ceremony accompanying Trump's arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport was elaborate, even by China's lavish standards.
Trump did not avoid pointing out China's "unfair trade practices" and its "theft of intellectual property", but his conclusion that the imbalance in the U.S.
"The giant gift pack of US$250 billion in trade deals is already something Trump can take home and claim as a success of the visit", he said.
Instead of pointing the finger at Beijing for exacerbating trade disputes, Trump blamed past U.S. administrations "for allowing this trade deficit to take place and to grow". He said China and the United States should strictly enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang, but did not announce additional Chinese measures.
When he entered the first artefacts room, Mr Trump came upon a "musical clock with country scene", a "gourd-shaped clock with rotating flowers", and a "clock with lifting tower", the White House said.
Wu Xinbo, director of Fudan University's Centre for American Studies, said China might have signalled that Beijing could take tougher measures against Pyongyang, including cuts to oil supplies. But it remains unclear how far China will go to fulfill its pledges.
Few issues have been more at loggerheads over the course of Trump's presidency than trade and North Korea.
In the days before his trip to Asia, Trump used Twitter to tout the "impact" of his own words after his account disappeared from the site for 11 minutes.
"China can fix this problem easily". "Time is quickly running out, we must act fast, and hopefully China will act faster".
"If you work on it hard, it [the denuclearisation] will happen. We are looking forward to rejoining you tomorrow morning!"
"You can win against China if you're smart. @FLOTUS Melania and I will never forget it!" he Trump.
In a damning speech on Wednesday, Trump called the isolated communist country "a hell that no person deserves".
Experts say that for all the public enthusiasm for what they are calling Trump's "state visit-plus", Chinese officials will be nervous that he could derail its carefully laid plans with a rogue tweet sent from behind the country's Great Firewall.
As Trump's motorcade pulled away, the tempo increased, with children jumping up and down while they waved and chanted.