China has canceled security talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis that had been planned for October, the New York Times reports.
An American official told the New York Times Sunday that a senior Chinese military officer said he would not be able to meet with Mattis.
This was confirmed by a government official to Reuters.
“The tension is escalating, and that could prove to be dangerous to both sides,” the official said, but stressed that it remains unclear whether the cancellation came because of the trade war President Trump has been escalating with China, or military activity in the South China Sea.
Reuters‘ Beijing sources confirmed the information as well.
President Donald Trump’s relationship with China, and therefore the United States’ relationship with China has been deteriorating for quite some time, mainly over trade disputes.
In late September, as the Inquisitr reported, President Trump accused China of meddling in U.S. elections, threatening retaliation to the Asian country’s counter tariffs.
Trump repeated the allegations at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
According to South China Morning Post, the U.S.-China trade war is expected to damper global economic growth, considering that the two countries are the world’s biggest economies. With Trump threatening to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese exports, his relationship with the country’s president, Xi Jinping, appears to have deteriorated as well.
“[Xi] may not be a friend of mine any more but I think he probably respects me,” Trump recently said, which is in sharp contrast to some of his previous statements, such as, “President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade.”
China has canceled an important security meeting with the U.S., a sign of chilling bilateral relations https://t.co/WfxjHSXmJP
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) September 30, 2018
For President Xi, the impact of the trade war Trump has been waging against China may be more important than his relationship with the U.S. president, since the Asian country’s economy has significantly slowed down following tariffs, according to Bloomberg.
The gauge of new export orders in China has declined to the lowest since 2016, and the official manufacturing purchasing managers index stood at 50.8 in September, as opposed to 51.3 the previous month.
“The further slowdown in China’s official manufacturing PMI in September reflects the intensifying impact of the U.S.-China trade war on China’s manufacturing export sector. The near-term outlook for the Chinese manufacturing export sector remains weak, albeit the Chinese government may apply some further stimulus measures to support growth,” Rajiv Biswas, APAC chief economist at IHS Markit in Singapore explained for Bloomberg.