Executive Intelligence Review


China Cancels Annual Top-Level Security Meeting with U.S.

Oct. 1, 2018 (EIRNS)—China canceled a high-level annual security meeting with the United States scheduled for mid-October which U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had planned to attend, indicating what “Seeking Alpha” Editor Jason Aycock describes as “simmering tensions” between the two countries. The Chinese are reported to have said that no senior official is available to meet with Mattis.

A spokesperson for China said it was not clear if and when the meeting would be rescheduled, the South China Morning Post reported. The Chinese official said it is also not clear whether the cancellation was because of a broad range of disputes between Beijing and Washington on issues such as arms sales to Taiwan and U.S. military activity in the South China Sea, or the simmering trade conflict, with increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other’s imports.

The U.S. State Department declined to comment, as did officials at the White House and Defense Department; nor did China’s Foreign and Defense Ministries respond.

China’s Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi called U.S. accusations “serious strategic misjudgment,” but said on Sept. 28 that there was “no cause for panic” over friction between the two nations, still, warning that China would not be blackmailed or yield to pressure over trade.

The cancellation of the military meeting caps a wave of recent irritants to Beijing, including U.S. sales of $330 million in military equipment to Taiwan; continuing military flyovers in the East China Sea; and sanctions on a Chinese state military company for buying weapons from Russia. At the UN Security Council meeting on Sept. 26, President Trump accused Beijing of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. Congressional elections to stop him and his Republican Party from doing well because of his China trade policies. Wang rejected the charge.