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]>> US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis and his Chinese hosts told different stories about his visit this week.>> I had very, very good discussion this morning.>> The message from Beijing however was a little less rosy. After welcoming Mattis with an honor guard, President Xi Jinping said China is committed to peace with the US.
He then told Mattis, China would, quote, note give up even one inch of territory left behind by our ancestors. That's according to Chinese state media on Wednesday. President Xi's remarks underscore deep rooted tension between China and the US, particularly over the South China Sea. Mattis has criticized China's militarization of remote recent islands in a vital shipping route that trillions of dollars in trade flow through each year.
US warships have sailed close to China's man-made islands in what Washington calls freedom of navigation exercises. On Wednesday, Beijing's Ambassador to the UK called that bogus. Instead, he wrote in the Guardian that the maneuvers are a show of force. China is also deeply suspicious of American intentions toward self governed and democratic Taiwan.
Beijing sees the island as a wayward province. But Taiwan buys it's arms from the US. And Beijing's concerned Washington may make move to support a full claim to independence by Taipei. As matters arise, Chinese state media reported the Chinese navy had been holding naval exercises near Taiwan for over a week.
The relationship between the two countries militaries has also been tested recently. In May, the US revoked an invitation to China to join a multilateral naval exercise held in Hawaii. Navies from around the world began arriving for the exercises, named RIMPAC, just this week.