US Defense Secretary James Mattis has met his Chinese counterpart in Beijing amid increasing tensions between Washington and Beijing over the South China Sea and President Donald Trump’s trade policy.
Mattis arrived Wednesday on his first tour to the Asian country in what seems to be a bid to find areas of cooperation despite a mounting military rivalry between the two superpowers.
In opening remarks, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe described the visit as essential “to increase the strategic trust between our countries.”
He said Mattis’ remarks “carry weight in both the military and political circles back in the United States.”
Mattis said, in response, that military relations were critical to the deeper relationship between the two countries, expressing hope that the discussions would involve “very open and honest dialogue.”
His visit comes at the time when there is currently a bitter dispute over China’s placement of advanced weapons…