Mattis To Meet With Chinese Counterpart As Trade War Intensifies

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "The Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Administration Perspective" on Capitol Hiill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

SINGAPORE (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is preparing to meet in Singapore with his Chinese counterpart just weeks after a meeting planned for Beijing fell apart amid growing friction between the U.S. and China.

Shortly after Mattis arrived in Singapore on Wednesday after a visit to Vietnam, a senior Mattis aide told reporters that the meeting is set to happen on Thursday.

Mattis and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe were in Singapore for a regional meeting of defense ministers.

The assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Randall Schriver, told reporters the Chinese had requested the Singapore meeting. In September, China told the Pentagon that Wei would be unavailable to meet Mattis in Beijing, so that visit was cancelled.

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