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Mattis Discusses Risk Reduction with China's Defense Minister at ASEAN

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Mattis Discusses Risk Reduction with Chinas Defense Minister at ASEAN
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WASHINGTON - US Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed risk reduction and communications with Chinese Minister of National Defense GEN Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the 2018 Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) meeting in Singapore, the Pentagon said in a readout on Tuesday.

“Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis met with Minister of National Defense GEN Wei Fenghe on the margins of the 2018 ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting (ADMM-Plus),” Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana White said. "Both sides reaffirmed the importance of dialogue, risk reduction, and open lines of communication between the two militaries."

The two officials also discussed a wide range of defense and policy issues, including North Korea, White said. She added that Mattis underscored the US commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.

The two leaders also agreed to continue discussions on areas of cooperation, particularly on North Korea, the readout added.

The meeting followed weeks of escalating military tensions between the US and China. Earlier this month, American military officials told CNN that the US Navy wanted to send warships and aircraft through the South China Sea - and close to Chinese-claimed islands - in November to send a message to Beijing.

On Monday, two US warships crossed the Taiwan Strait, the Navy said, a geopolitical flashpoint that separates mainland China from Taiwan. China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that should reunify with the mainland in the future.
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