Chinese President Xi meets with US Defense Chief Jim Mattis in Beijing

World Today

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Beijing, capital of China, June 27, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted Pentagon chief James Mattis at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. During the meeting, President Xi emphasized China’s commitment to peaceful development, adding the country has no interest in expansionism or colonialism, and will never cause “chaos” in the world.

CGTN’s Chuck Tinte reports.

The trip comes amid tensions between Washington and Beijing. Last month, the Chinese Navy identified and expelled two U.S. warships. They had illegally entered into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.

President Xi said China and the U.S. share common interests in a wide range of areas, and those mutual interests outweigh differences.

The American flag flies near the national emblem of China outside of the Bayi Building before a welcome ceremony for U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Beijing, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

He also said the Pacific Ocean is large enough for China, the U.S., and other countries to share. He added that China and the U.S. should focus on strengthening ties with mutual respect and cooperation, benefiting both sides.

President Xi and Mattis agreed on the importance of military ties between the two countries. Xi said these ties are part of bilateral relations, and should act as a stabilizing force in how the two countries deal with each other.

Mattis agreed to enhance communication on strategy, adding military ties will become the strategic element of bilateral relations.

China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, center, and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis review an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Bayi Building in Beijing, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

During the second day of Mattis’ trip, he attended a welcoming ceremony hosted by China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe. Minister Wei said Mattis’ visit will boost mutual trust between both militaries. Mattis said he expects to find room for military cooperation.

“It is on us to carry out the guidance that President Xi and President Trump gave to us at the Mar-a-Lago summit about a year ago now,” Mattis said.