"I express my appreciation for this", Xi said, and was then told by Tillerson that Trump puts great value into the conversations the two leaders have already had.
The visit came after Trump fired off an incendiary tweet criticizing China's policy on North Korea, and after Tillerson himself endorsed that tweet in an interview. Here, where the Philippines is locked in confrontation with some of its neighbors, the United States and China together could help bring about a peaceful understanding to replace the current atmosphere of confrontation.
But in a sign of the challenges that remain, hours after the discussion, North Korea defiantly announced it had tested a rocket engine that its state media said had "historic significance".
"We will work together to see if we can not bring the government in Pyongyang to a place where they want to make a different course, make a course correction, and move away from the development of nuclear weapons".
How it would work: The United States would initiate a war to destroy the North Korean government outright, much as in Iraq in 2003.
During Tillerson's two days of meetings with Chinese leaders in Beijing, both sides sought to play down their differences on North Korea in public statements.
China has ratcheted up what appears to be a retaliation against Lotte, South Korea's fifth-largest family-controlled firm, since it handed over one of its properties to the Korean military early this month to be used as a site for a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery.
"Chinese overcapacity that affects the US industrial base is a particular focus for President Trump, and President Xi may be willing to take some action on that front given the renewed focus at the recent meeting of the National People's Congress on addressing overcapacity", Jeremie Waterman, the senior policy adviser for Asia at the Washington-based US Chamber of Commerce, said.
Twitter Reacts: After 29 Years CAF Has A New President
He was also alleged to have sought payments in return for his vote in the controversial bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Hayatou obtained the remaining 20 votes, according to the official results of 39th CAF Ordinary General Assembly.
Tillerson needed to "undo the damage that was done during the campaign and the first days of the administration", said Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego and a former deputy assistant secretary of state under the Clinton administration.
The main goal of Tillerson's trip and his excessively friendly message may be to set an agreeable tone ahead of the suspected meeting between Xi and Trump in Florida next month. And if we go by a report published in The Independent today that says the Trump Administration is preparing to sell Taiwan arms it needs in case of a Chinese attack, there are bound to be hard negotiations as Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, said after the Trump-Jinping call last month that "Trump always gets something in return in negotiations". In exchange, it said, it would ask the US and South Korea to halt large-scale military exercises which have been scheduled.
His trip has been dominated by concerns over North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programme.
North Korea has a long-standing ambition to become a nuclear power and conducted its first underground atomic test in 2006, in the teeth of global opposition.
It was not immediately clear whether the two would discuss North Korea's latest thumb in the eye.
Chinese companies invested a record US$45.6 billion in the U.S. economy in 2016, according to the Rhodium Group, an authority on investment flows between China and other countries.
The test shows North Korea can match "world-level" satellite delivery capabilities, KCNA said Sunday.