BEIJING – United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis is set to begin his China visit on Tuesday, where denuclearization of North Korea and regional stability will be the focus of the talks with the two leaders, according to Chinese authorities on Monday.
Mattis, who has been invited by the Chinese Defense Minister, Wei Fenghe, will be visiting the country from June 26-28, and is scheduled to meet with leaders and senior government officials, said the Chinese Ministry of Defense in a statement reported by state broadcaster CCTV.
Mattis’ visit marks the first of a US Defense Secretary to China since 2014, and comes just a week after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Though the visit is aimed at addressing the steps to be taken after the historic Singapore summit between the US President, Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, other issues, such as the militarization of the South China Sea, that have led to escalation in tension between the US and China, are also expected to be on the agenda of discussions.
Recently, Mattis warned the Chinese regime of consequences if it ignored the international community in the disputed sea, where Beijing is embroiled in territorial disputes with several countries in the region.
CCTV also said that after China, Mattis is scheduled to travel to South Korea and Japan to continue talks on Pyongyang’s denuclearization.