Xi Jinping Warns U.S. That China Won’t Surrender ‘One Inch’ of Territory (Source Yahoo)
President Xi Jinping told U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis he wouldn’t give up any territory that China considered its own, an unusually blunt warning as security disputes simmer below a fight over trade.
Xi made his remarks while meeting Mattis on Wednesday in Beijing, the first such visit by a U.S. defense chief in more than four years. The comments appeared to be a reference to U.S. complaints about Chinese military deployments in the disputed South China Sea and a push by American lawmakers to expand ties with the democratically run island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a province.
“Our stance is steadfast and clear-cut when it comes to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. “We cannot lose one inch of territory passed down by our ancestors. Meanwhile, we want nothing from others.”
Xi can’t afford to look weak after the ruling Communist Party repealed presidential term limits in March, and he’s pledged to go blow for blow on trade. He has warned against efforts to widen divisions with Taiwan and in April presided over China’s largest-ever naval review in a display of its growing military reach. The Chinese president’s comments were printed on the influential front page of the party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper. Videos broadcast on Chinese state media showed Mattis studiously taking notes as Xi spoke. “This is an important time in the history of China and the United States as we work our way forward,” Mattis said as he sat with Xi in front of a bank of cameras and photographers prior to their private meeting, according to the Associated Press. “I’m here to keep our relationship on a great trajectory, going in the right direction, and to share ideas with your leadership, your military leadership, as we look at the way ahead.”