Mr Trump said US tariffs in place against Chinese imports would remain, but that proposed new tariffs on billions worth of other Chinese goods will not be triggered for the “time being”.
He also announced that the US and China would restart stalled trade talks, adding: “We’re going to work with China where we left off.”
Mr Trump spoke after a lengthy meeting with Xi on the margins of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
Tensions had increased between the world’s two largest economies after talks broke down in May when the US accused China of reneging on agreements it had already made.
Speaking after the meeting on Saturday, both leaders struck a cautiously optimistic tone after they posed for photographs.
Mr Trump said: “We had a very good meeting with President Xi of China, excellent, I would say excellent, as good as it was going to be.
“We discussed a lot of things and we’re right back on track and we’ll see what happens.”
Xi recounted the era of “ping-pong diplomacy” that helped jump-start US-China relations two generations ago, adding: ”Cooperation and dialogue are better than friction and confrontation.”
In a statement, China’s foreign ministry said negotiators from both sides would discuss the specific details, but did not elaborate.
China’s official state news agency Xinhua also quoted Mr Xi as saying: “China and the US have highly integrated interests and extensive co-operation areas and they should not fall into so-called traps of conflict and confrontation.”
Mr Trump had threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports – on top of the $250 billion in goods he’s already taxed – extending his import taxes to virtually everything China ships to the United States.
He has said the new tariffs, which are paid by US importers and usually passed onto consumers, might start at 10 per cent. Earlier, the administration had said additional tariffs might reach 25 per cent.
The two countries are sparring over the Trump administration’s allegations that Beijing steals technology and coerces foreign companies into handing over trade secrets. China denies it engages in such practices.
The US has also tried to rally other nations to block Chinese telecom firm Huawei from their upcoming 5G systems, branding the company a national security threat and barring it from buying American technology.
Beijing has retaliated by levying its own tariffs on goods from the US. On Friday, it criticised what it calls “negative content” about China in legislation before the US Congress, saying it would further damage relations already roiled by disputes over trade and technology.
The meeting with Xi is one of three Mr Trump had lined up Saturday with world leaders displaying authoritarian tendencies.
The US President had his first face-to-face sit-down with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Bin Salman since the US intelligence community concluded that the Crown Prince directed the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
Meeting with the Saudi crown prince, Trump praised his “friend” for taking steps to open up the Kingdom and extend freedoms to Saudi women. But he ignored reporters’ questions about Mohammed’s alleged role in Mr Khashoggi’s death.
Mr Trump also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ostensible NATO ally whom the US sees as drifting dangerously towards Russia’s sphere of influence.
It comes after Mr Trump told Russia’s Vladimir Putin not to “meddle with the election” in their first meeting since Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Russia extensively interfered with the 2016 campaign.
Agencies contributed to this report.
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