While 19 deals were signed on Wednesday, some in the USA business community have expressed worry that contract wins could come at the expense of resolving long-standing complaints over market access restrictions in China. China is "giving Trump lots of face, vanities and protocol".
"We are coming off some of the strongest numbers we've ever had, and he knows that and he respects that", Trump said.
A senior administration official confirmed Trump will make a nuclear-armed North Korea a main focus of his talks with Xi. "China economic relationship", the official told reporters on Air Force One as it flew to Beijing.
Meanwhile, Beijing has made some concessions to Trump on trade - for example, increasing imports from the U.S. But Tsinghua University professor Chu Shulong argues that these were things China wanted anyway. China expert Cheng Li of the Brookings Institution said Xi and Trump may share little in style, but they do have common values. The agreements will probably centre on China buying USA energy and farm products, as well as aircraft and other machinery. If Pyongyang does launch a missile at the US, the ensuing war would happen on China's doorstep.
That's included devoting hundreds of hours a year to welcoming ceremonies, meetings and receptions, in addition to hosting major multilateral events such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting and the G-20 summit.
China's trade surplus with the United States in October widened by 12.2 per cent from a year earlier to $26.6 billion, according to Chinese customs data released Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Trump mischaracterised the nature of Xi's success at the Communist Party Congress, writing on Twitter that he was looking forward "to meeting with President Xi who is just off his great political victory".
Since Trump took office, the two leaders have maintained close contact, including face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and sending messages on issues of common concern.
"China has almost exhausted its leverage over North Korea", he says, "and the North is becoming increasingly hostile towards us".
The Trump administration has responded by framing his 11-day, five-nation Asia trip as a broadening of USA policy in the "Indo-Pacific" region.
In 2001, a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US spy plane, resulting in the death of the Chinese pilot and the detention of an American crew.
Chatting over cups of tea, Trump showed Xi a video of his granddaughter Arabella Kushner singing in Mandarin and reciting classical Chinese poetry, prompting Xi to compliment her performance as worthy of an "A+", Chinese state media said.
"But this could all change", he cautions.
Chu points out that President Obama started out pretty bullish on China, but by his second term, he had largely soured on it. He predicts all the diplomatic niceties and chummy atmosphere could simply evaporate in about two or three months' time.