Executive Intelligence Review


U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis and China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe Conferred in Singapore

Oct. 18, 2018 (EIRNS)—China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis met for 90 minutes on the sidelines of the annual Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) defense ministers meeting in Singapore, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported. Randall Schriver, a U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, told reporters afterward that Mattis described the meeting as “straightforward and candid” and that he had made clear Washington’s views on China’s alleged increased militarization of the strategic waterway. “That’s an area where we will continue to have differences and talk through,” Schriver said, SCMP reported.

Reporting on the meeting, the New York Times wrote, “during an hour-and-a-half meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Mattis sanded down some of the sharp edges from Vice President Mike Pence’s pointed critique of China this month. Mattis urged the two militaries to talk through their many differences, and even repeated an invitation for Wei Fenghe, China’s defense minister, to visit the United States, according to a senior defense Department official who was in the meeting.”

Today, as well, two U.S. B-52 bombers flew over the disputed South China Sea as part of a routine training mission in the vicinity of the South China Sea, the Pacific Air Forces said in a statement today, according to SCMP.