While his boss was goading China over Twitter, new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been trying to build a constructive and “results-oriented” relationship with the leadership in Beijing.

And though his warnings about the possibility of eventual military action over North Korea have raised hackles here, Tillerson received a warm welcome from China’s president on Sunday.

“You have made a lot of active efforts to achieve a smooth transition in our relationship under the new era,” President Xi Jinping told Tillerson as the men sat down for talks in the Great Hall of the People. “And I also appreciate your comment that the China-U.S. relationship can only be defined by cooperation and friendship.”

But some critics say Tillerson has bent too far, handing Beijing what Chinese news media reports are calling a “diplomatic victory.”