Mattis: Talks with Chinese counterpart about North Korea ‘very open and honest’

Mattis: Talks with Chinese counterpart about North Korea ‘very open and honest’
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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Air Force outlines plan for biggest force since end of Cold War | Trump admin slashes refugee cap | Mattis accuses Russia of meddling in Macedonia's NATO bid It’s long past time to tie the president’s hands Mattis warns of Russian meddling in Macedonia's bid for NATO: report MORE on Wednesday described his discussions about North Korea with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe as being "very open and honest." 

Details of Mattis's meeting with Wei were first reported by China's People’s Daily publication, according to The Associated Press.

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Mattis and Wei discussed Beijing's position on Taiwan, military presence in the South China Sea, and ongoing talks with North Korea. 

“Only through insisting on no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation can the sides achieve common development,” Wei said. 

Mattis, who is the first U.S. defense secretary to visit China since 2014, also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss the importance of the U.S.-Chinese relations amid growing trade tensions between the two nations. 

“This is an important time in the history of China and the United States as we work our way forward,” Mattis said sitting alongside Xi before they met behind closed doors. “It reminds me just how important this is for both of our nations. So 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.”

The meetings come amid growing tensions as Beijing and Washington face off on trade. 

President Trump earlier this month slapped tariffs on $50 billion of China imports to the U.S. and threatened larger tariffs after China responded with tariffs on U.S. goods.