President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, start their two-day meeting later in the day, and top of the agenda is the possibility of Trump using U.S.
Even though the two leaders "want to project themselves as very forceful, very decisive and also getting the best for the benefit of their own countries, they are also anxious not to get into hard negotiating positions", according to Lam.
Trump is meanwhile warning that if China doesn't crack down on its ally North Korea of its ballistic missile and nuclear program, Washington will take unspecified steps that Beijing might oppose.
In an interview with the Financial Times last weekend, Trump said he would exhort Xi to put more pressure on Pyongyang to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile testing, which has violated U.N. resolutions, but said if Beijing failed to act the United States would consider unilateral responses.
The spokeswoman noted that several senior US officials, including Pottinger and Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, had recently reiterated the U.S.' commitment to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) ahead of the historic meeting - a move the ministry warmly welcomed.
What worries the protocol-conscious Chinese more than policy clashes is the risk that the unpredictable Trump could publicly embarrass Xi, after several foreign leaders experienced awkward moments with the new US president.
Trump wants China's help ending North Korea's testing of nuclear weapons.
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Trump had yet to arrive to Florida, but the pair will gather later at his Mar-a-Lago resort - which the USA president likes to call the "Winter White House" - for what promises to be a master class in studied informality.
But economic adviser Peter Navarro, author of the book Death By China: Confronting The Dragon - A Global Call To Action, prefers trying to isolate China, in keeping with Mr Trump's America First mantra. Our analysis, however, finds that the real trade deficit is likely closer to $132 billion, only slightly more than a third of the US figure. But, like with many other areas of his presidency, Trump will bring his own personal business history and the conflicts of interest it entails.
For him, as for many here, the military option that the Trump administration said remains "on the table" is unthinkable. Instead, a major goal for the initial meeting between Trump and Xi will be to set the diplomatic tone that will guide U.S. "I'm here just enjoying standing here, enjoying American culture", Chinese foreign exchange student Qiqi Zng said.
As recently as February, weeks after taking his oath of office, Trump sold a $15.8 million penthouse condo in his Trump Park Avenue building to a Chinese-American businesswoman named Angela Chen, who has extensive ties to China's ruling elite.
Trump, the brash, outspoken, political novice who seems to give little mind to policy details, anchored his campaign on China bashing.
Some of the Vietnamese protesters told Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez that they are pro-Trump, and are protesting "Chinese aggression". "We're going to see what happens", Trump said.
The most urgent problem facing Trump and Xi is how to persuade nuclear-armed North Korea to halt unpredictable behavior like missile test launches that have heightened tensions in South Korea and Japan.