China has dropped a security meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis that had been planned for this October, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday, days after a top Chinese official said there was no reason to panic over tensions between the countries.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday there was “no cause for panic” over a disagreement between Beijing and Washington, but warned that China would not be forced or yield to pressure over trade.
Sources in Beijing briefed on the matter said last week the security meeting might not take place because of the tensions in relations between the two countries.
At a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, US President Trump accused Beijing of seeking to meddle in the November 6 US congressional elections to stop him and his Republican Party from doing well because of his China trade policies.
The U.S. State Department declined to comment. Officials at the White House and Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China’s Foreign and Defense Ministries also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The official said it was also not clear whether the cancellation was because of the broad range of disputes between Beijing and Washington on issues such as arms sales and military activity in the South China Sea and other waters around China.
Recently, US Navy Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur conducted freedom of navigation operation and sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson reefs in the Spratly Islands.