The Chinese media, which is controlled by China's government, mocked President Donald Trump's missile attack against Syria after Chinese President Xi Jinping had left the U.S.
China's state-run Xinhua criticized Trump on April 8 by saying that the attack on Syria was the act of a weakened politician who was trying to flex his muscles, and that Trump was trying to distance himself from Syria's ally, Russia, reports The New York Times.
Xinhua also mentioned past missile attacks by the U.S. on Libya, 1986, and Sudan, 1998, which resulted in the U.S. not achieving its "political goals."
Xinhua added: "It has been a typical tactic of the U.S. to send a strong political message by attacking other countries using advanced warplanes and cruise missiles."
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Chinese analysts were also skeptical of Trump's bombing mission.
Shen Dingli, a professor of international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the U.S. never would have attacked if Syria had nuclear weapons.
"Chemical weapons and nuclear weapons are totally different," Dingli stated. "A chemical bomb kills dozens of people, and the atomic bomb at Hiroshima killed hundreds of thousands."
Dingli added that the Chinese were thrilled by Trump's attack because of the possibility of the U.S. getting stuck in another Middle East conflict:
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If the United States gets trapped in Syria, how can Trump make America great again? As a result, China will be able to achieve its peaceful rise. Even though we say we oppose the bombing, deep in our hearts we are happy.
Lu Chao, director of the Border Studies Institute at the Liaoning Academy of Social Science, added: "I don’t deny that the United States is capable of such an attack against North Korea, but you need to see that North Korea is capable of striking back. That would create chaos."
During the bombing of Syria, China's president was meeting with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
U.S. and Chinese officials said there were talks between the two men on North Korea and trade relations.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross said the meeting was a "very big sea change in the pace of discussions," reported USA Today.
Trump had glowing words about his counterpart: "I just want to say that President Xi and all of his representatives have been really interesting to be with. I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away."
Xi credited Trump for his "excellent preparations," and called the meeting "unique."
"The Chinese did not want to create the impression that Xi went to the U.S. to make concessions to Trump, that would come across as weakness," Yun Sun, a senior associate in the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center in Washington, told The New York Times.
"It will be Trump who will have difficulty explaining to his voters what he got from the Chinese," Sun added.