The Trump Administration is losing patience with China's failure to stop North Korea's nuclear program, and two signals last week were new USA sanctions on Chinese aiding the North and a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan.
"Ties are also affected by some negative elements, and the Chinese side has already expressed our stance to the U.S.", Xi told Trump, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.
Trump, who berated Beijing over trade during the USA election campaign, also "reiterated his determination to seek more balanced trade relations with America's trading partners".
Another Sino-US expert, Professor Shen Dingli of Fudan University, said that this "good cop, bad cop routine" was part of Mr Trump's negotiating tactics to get China to do more to rein in North Korea, but that Beijing was unlikely to bite.
American and Chinese officials agree that the two country's presidents spoke Sunday over the phone. In that respect, the two leaders' recommitment to strive for a denuclearised Korean peninsula should be paramount. An upset Mr Abe said that "North Korea's most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable".
In a press conference with newly-elected South Korean President on June 30, President Trump warned that years of "strategic patience" with North Korea had failed and it was now time for a "determined response".
Increasingly, Mr Trump is also looking to other Asian nations, including Japan and South Korea, for help in resolving the crisis. And it continued Wednesday, with Trump complaining about China's trade with North Korea.
President Trump's Wednesday morning tweets, just ahead of his trip to Europe and (later this week) meetings with G-20 leaders, renewed his trade offensive, tweeting that the U.S. "We can not afford to wait for too long before dialogue" Liu Jieyi told reporters Monday in NY. Beijing may be miscalculating that this US government will behave like every other.
But the group also said that North Korea's exports of coal to China remained frozen. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all! China would certainly understand as it is giving the same treatment to South Korea to punish that hapless country for their exercise of sovereign right by installing the US-sponsored anti-missile system THAAD.
As Trump was speaking with Xi and Abe, his predecessor, former US President Barack Obama, was speaking in South Korea about the difficulties of dealing with North Korea. There are a host of topics that are creating problems between the two nations, and China has been more vocal about its discontent with the U.S. in recent weeks.
Trump also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday.
Xi said China attaches great importance to Trump's reaffirmation of U.S.adherence to the policy. It is clear from Trump's urging of Xi to step up pressure on Pyongyang that the Americans felt China could have done more to exert its economic leverage over the rogue nuclear state. China is now the world's second-largest economy, it holds trillions of dollars in USA debt and its companies are increasingly tied financially with the West.