U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart finally met Thursday with Trump saying he has "developed a friendship" with Xi Jinping, but undercurrents ran deep at state dinner in Mar-a-Lago as the U.S. military attacked a Syria-government airfield when the meal was underway.
The timing was unlikely to be much of a coincidence, analysts told CNBC.
"I don't think it was deliberately aimed at China. But obviously, the U.S. felt that it didn't need to wait until after that summit, so they didn't hesitate to do it right in the middle of the summit. That's definitely sending some kind of message to Xi Jinping," said senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, David Dollar.
"It definitely raises the stakes for China in looking at what the United States might do about North Korea," he added.