CNNMoney/Shutterstock
Now playing
01:35
How Trump's trade war with China could backfire
Getty Images
Now playing
01:12
Miss Universe contestants unveil political messages during pageant
Israeli warplanes attacked a tunnel shaft belonging to Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip early Monday morning, Israel Defense Forces ( IDF) said in a post to Twitter. "The shaft of the tunnel is located near a kindergarten and mosque and proves once again how the terrorist organization Hamas deliberately places its military assets in the heart of civilian population." IDF added.
IDF
Israeli warplanes attacked a tunnel shaft belonging to Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip early Monday morning, Israel Defense Forces ( IDF) said in a post to Twitter. "The shaft of the tunnel is located near a kindergarten and mosque and proves once again how the terrorist organization Hamas deliberately places its military assets in the heart of civilian population." IDF added.
Now playing
02:16
Footage shows what Israel says is its strikes on Hamas tunnels and leaders' homes
Atia Darwish
Now playing
04:11
Video shows AP staff evacuate their office before airstrike
China's Tianwen-1 probe has successfully entered Mars' orbit seven months after it was launched, according to China National Space Administration (CNSA).
CCTV
China's Tianwen-1 probe has successfully entered Mars' orbit seven months after it was launched, according to China National Space Administration (CNSA).
Now playing
00:40
Watch new footage taken from Mars' orbit
A fireball engulfs the Al-Walid building which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, early on May 13.
AFP/Getty Images
A fireball engulfs the Al-Walid building which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, early on May 13.
Now playing
03:05
Hamas releases new propaganda video amid ongoing violence
CNN
Now playing
02:07
New generation of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers facing off in West Bank
Israeli Police
Now playing
01:00
Shocking video shows mob violence in Israel
A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Mohammed Salem/Reuters
A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Now playing
04:27
Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza building with AP, Al Jazeera offices
japan coronavirus olympics Essig DNT intl ldn vpx_00004629.png
CNN
japan coronavirus olympics Essig DNT intl ldn vpx_00004629.png
Now playing
03:18
Japan nears a Covid-19 crisis. The Olympics could tip it over the edge
FILE -  In this March 25, 2021, file photo, a "No Olympics" banner is placed by protesters in Tokyo during a demonstration against the going ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some nurses in Japan are incensed at a request from Tokyo Olympic organizers to have 500 of them dispatched to help out with the games. They say they're already near the breaking point dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. A protest message saying that nurses were opposed to holding the Olympic went viral on Japanese Twitter recently, being retweeted hundreds of thousands of times. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
Hiro Komae/AP
FILE - In this March 25, 2021, file photo, a "No Olympics" banner is placed by protesters in Tokyo during a demonstration against the going ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some nurses in Japan are incensed at a request from Tokyo Olympic organizers to have 500 of them dispatched to help out with the games. They say they're already near the breaking point dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. A protest message saying that nurses were opposed to holding the Olympic went viral on Japanese Twitter recently, being retweeted hundreds of thousands of times. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
Now playing
02:03
Setbacks continue for Tokyo Olympics as Games are 10 weeks out
screengrab palestinian
CNN
screengrab palestinian
Now playing
05:21
Palestinians fight eviction from homes in East Jerusalem
CNN's Rosemary Church speaks with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, President of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, about the intensifying violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
CNN
CNN's Rosemary Church speaks with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, President of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, about the intensifying violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Now playing
04:16
Palestinian politician: Israel's behavior led to this escalation
screengrab kabul bomb
Reuters
screengrab kabul bomb
Now playing
01:35
Families of schoolgirls describe anguish after blast kills dozens
Reuters
Now playing
01:12
Rare purple-pink diamond could break auction record
(CNN) —  

Chinese President Xi Jinping has shown himself adept at maneuvering within China’s political system, reaching a level of power and control over the ruling Communist Party not seen since the days of Mao Zedong.

He’s also seen major successes overseas, building alliances and expanding China’s influence abroad. One thing that’s not always been clear is how adept he is at personal diplomacy – negotiating one-on-one with other world leaders.

He will need to lay on the charm in spades this week when he meets United States President Donald Trump at the G20, amid threats of further escalation in the US-China trade war. While many eyes are on Trump going into G20, arguably it is Xi facing the bigger test.

There are signs – not least that Xi is willing to take the meeting at all – that Beijing may be prepared to make some concessions in order to see the back of heavy tariffs imposed by Washington, but only if Trump is similarly willing to compromise.

Trump has made clear the potential costs of a failure to make progress, but he’s not the only one with something in his back pocket. Xi’s recent visit to North Korea, once Trump’s signature foreign policy success that is now causing headaches in Washington.

02:27 - Source: CNN
Kim Jong Un welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping

Trump has a track record of being bowled over by world leaders when he meets them, something Xi has proven himself the master at.

’Very good chemistry’

Xi has proven his ability to ‘wow’ Trump, who still brags about being the first foreign leader to dine in Beijing’s Forbidden City since the founding of modern China. Even when at odds about trade, Trump praises Xi on a personal level.

Trump said in a speech during his visit to Beijing that Xi’s people were “very proud” of him and hailed the “very good chemistry between the two of us.” Later Trump revealed that he had called Xi the “king” of China and said “I get along with him great.”

Indeed, during Trump’s first year in office, relations between Washington and Beijing were on the up, with China help put pressure on North Korea over denuclearization and the US not delivering on threatened trade tariffs Trump talked up during the campaign.

All of this fell apart in 2018, however, when Washington – after months of grumbling about the trade deficit and investigations of Chinese practices – slapped Beijing with billions of dollars in tariffs. China quickly responded in kind and soon an all out trade war was in process.

So far, repeated attempts to make a deal have failed, with the most recent talks falling apart after Beijing apparently overplayed its hand, expecting Washington to blink and getting a fierce response instead.

“We are now a much bigger economy than China, and have substantially increased in size since the great 2016 Election. We are the ‘piggy bank’ that everyone wants to raid and take advantage of. NO MORE!” Trump said in May after the failed talks, adding that China was hoping for a change in government in 2020 would lead to a better deal for Beijing.

US President Donald Trump gestures toward China's President Xi Jinping, as US First Lady Melania Trump and Xi's wife Peng Liyuan look on in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.
AFP Contributor/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump gestures toward China's President Xi Jinping, as US First Lady Melania Trump and Xi's wife Peng Liyuan look on in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.

’Terrific person’

Xi may look at the G20 lineup and feel he has more allies at the meeting than Trump. He’s pulled both India and Russia tight, and even erstwhile enemy Japan is growing closer to Beijing, while in Europe both Turkey and Italy have signed up to Xi’s trademark Belt and Road project, as has Indonesia.

At the same time, Trump has alienated traditional European allies, and strained some relations in Asia with aggressive trade tactics. Another Trump ally, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is facing scrutiny and suspicion in Washington over his involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump and Xi’s meeting at the G20 will be the first time the two men have been face-to-face since the trade war escalations, and a great deal of pressure will be on them to find a breakthrough where negotiators from both sides have previously failed.

“I have a very good relationship with President Xi,” Trump said earlier this month. “We’ll see what happens. I think we have a chance. China wants a deal. They don’t like the tariffs.”

Calling Xi a “terrific person,” Trump said the two men had spoken by phone and were working towards a “good deal and a fair deal.” Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Ministry said both countries had a role to play in “injecting confidence and vitality into the global markets.”

Messaging from both sides heading into the G20 summit has been confused.

Washington postponed a speech by Vice President Mike Pence scheduled for this week expected to be highly critical of Beijing, with the White House saying it was “due to progress in conversations between President Trump and President Xi.” At the same time, however, on Friday five new Chinese firms were placed on the US entities list, restricting their ability to do business with American companies.

The Chinese side has also been blowing hot and cold. Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen, one of Beijing’s top trade negotiators, said the US and China “should meet each other halfway, which means that both sides will need to compromise and make concessions.”

In a commentary on Monday in the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, the paper said the idea that China should make further concessions was “ridiculous and naive.”

“Lying behind the trade feud is America’s intention to stifle China’s development,” the commentary said. “The US wants to be a permanent leader in the world, and there is no way for China to avoid the ‘storm’ through compromise.”

02:34 - Source: CNN
Trump's trade war fuels global recession fear

Threats and promises

That Xi is willing to meet Trump at all suggests he likely has something to offer – in an effort to ratchet down the ongoing trade dispute

Equally possible is that Xi may not necessarily coming to the table totally of his own volition. Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods if Xi didn’t meet with him, leading to a mild rebuke from Beijing, which said “China doesn’t want a trade war but we are not afraid of fighting it.”

Trump’s bullying was effective in ensuring a meeting, but Xi has been showing in recent weeks that he is by no means a pushover. As well as responding tit-for-tat on trade war escalations, Xi has shored up an alliance with Russian President Vladimir Putin and visited Pyongyang for a successful meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The US President is due to fly to South Korea following the G20, during which he is expected to pay a visit to the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the de facto border with North Korea. Relations between Pyongyang and Washington, on the outs after the failure of Trump and Kim’s last meeting in Hanoi, appear to be warming up again, and Beijing will be keen to emphasize that it can be a help in this, or serve as a major hindrance.