Despite tensions, US-China chiefs hold co-operation talks

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Beijing: US Defense Secretary James Mattis met his Chinese counterpart in Beijing today, aiming to find areas of cooperation despite a mounting military rivalry between the two superpowers.

On his first ever visit to China, the Pentagon chief was greeted at the headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army by an honour guard and marching band playing the US and Chinese anthems.

In opening remarks, Defence Minister Wei Fenghe called the visit critical “to increase the strategic trust between our countries.” He said Mattis’ words “carry weight in both the military and political circles back in the United States.”

Mattis replied that military relations were crucial to the broader relationship between the two countries and he hoped the discussions would involve “very open and honest dialogue”.

Mattis was expected to met President Xi Jinping late Wednesday after talks with other senior officials. His four-day trip to Asia will include visits to regional allies Seoul and Tokyo. (PTI)

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