Chinese president Xi Jinping pointing to "some negative factors" in US-China relations since he and President Trump first met three months ago.
During the call, Xi said the relationship between the two countries had shown progress but was also affected by "negative factors", according to Xinhua, the state-run news agency.
The US also labeled China as one of the world's worst human traffickers and challenged Beijing in the South China Sea, by sailing close to a disputed island chain that China claims.
Trump spoke on the phone Sunday night with the Chinese leader. The White House said the two leaders shared a commitment to dealing with North Korea.
Until this week's launch, North Korea had demonstrated missiles of short and medium range - but not an intercontinental missile.
Last week, China lashed out at Washington after Trump authorised a US$1.3bil (RM5.6bil) arms sale to Taiwan, which China considers a rebel province, and the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank accused of laundering North Korean cash. Hard to believe that South Korea. But secondary sanctions would still force such companies to stop doing business with North Korea or risk losing their access to the USA financial system, and with it, the dollar - the world's main currency for global trade and finance. On Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to chastise China for allowing its trade with the North to grow in recent months even as the USA urged a reduction.
In his campaign, candidate Donald Trump had identified North Korea's nuclear and missile programme as a serious issue and had sought to pressurise China to prevail over the North Korean leadership to stop their development.
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Restricting guest workers is one way the USA and other countries could try to reduce North Korea's access to foreign now.
Abe praised Trump for the recent US sanctions on the small Bank of Dandong over its alleged support for North Korea's nuclear program, according to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. "This climb-down was within expectations, because China can not single-handedly deliver on North Korea". "Unlike the father, the son often times has engaged in fairly significant diplomatic insults of Beijing in a way we haven't seen before and in a way that surprised China". Xi's willingness to take the call appeared to suggest he was not ready to escalate tension with the United States over the North.
The call came at the end of a tense week in US - China relations, which analysts said signaled the end of honeymoon period between the two superpowers that began with a summit at Trump's Mar A Lago resort in April.
Trump's call with Xi followed a separate chat with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, of Japan, a US trade rival that's also key ally against Kim's regime.
In his conversation with Prime Minister Abe, the White House said Trump reiterated the United States was ready to defend Japan in the event of any North Korean aggression.
When Chinese Premier #Xi Jinping left his first meeting with President #Donald Trump earlier this year, there seemed to be a spirit of cooperation developing between the two leaders.
Other U.S. decisions have recently drawn criticism from China.