Beijing which had fretted over being sidelined after the North Korean leader agreed to meet Trump past year where Trump had gone as far as saying that he had fallen "in love" with Kim.
He left the Chinese capital Thursday morning with his wife and several key aides, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi, top diplomat Yang Jiechi, and key economic adviser He Lifeng, according to Chinese state media.
The nations fought together in the 1950-53 Korean War against the United States, South Korea and their allies, but there has been friction in recent years, especially over the North's relentless push for nuclear weapons.
The United States and 25 other countries accused North Korea of violating UN sanctions by importing far more than the annual limit of 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products. While China has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to the worldwide sanctions regime it helped erect against North Korea, the country has shown its limits amid the trade showdown with Trump. He is the first Chinese president to visit North Korea in 14 years.
Yongwook Ryu, professor of global relations at the National University of Singapore, said Xi could be making a "serious mistake" if he tries to use North Korea as a bargaining chip with Trump, because the USA leader separates security issues from economic ones.
Meanwhile, South Korea said Wednesday it would send 50,000 tons of rice in aid to North Korea to help the impoverished state cope with its worsening food shortages, caused in part by crippling economic sanctions imposed by the US.
Russian Federation and China on Tuesday blocked an American initiative that aimed to halt fuel deliveries to North Korea, which Washington accuses of exceeding its annual limit for 2019, diplomatic sources said.
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Zhao Tong, North Korea expert at the Carnegie Tsinghua Center think tank in Beijing, said he does not expect any "substantive discussions" on denuclearisation during the meeting, because "China and North Korea do not have enough mutual trust".
"If Xi can put pressure on North Korea to denuclearise i.e. offer some carrot to Trump, then he could perhaps get a concession from Trump or make a trade deal with Trump more likely", Ryu said.
In an editorial, it said the trip at a time of "complex global relations" showed that the leadership in Beijing attached "high importance on the DPRK-China friendship".
March 7, 2018: A South Korean envoy returns from visiting Pyongyang and says Kim is willing to discuss his nuclear arsenal with Washington.
"Comrade Xi Jinping is visiting.in the face of crucial and grave tasks due to complex global relations, which clearly shows the Chinese party and the government place high significance on the friendship", the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said.
Xi made the remarks in a signed article published on the DPRK's mainstream media including the official newspaper Rodong Sinmun, one day before his state visit to the DPRK slated for Thursday and Friday.
The trip highlights two-way ties that "never waver despite any headwinds", and strengthens "blood ties" between the two peoples, it added in a front page commentary.
"Kim is expected to say to him: please ease up on the sanctions that you have been enforcing on North Korea".