Mattis Heads to China for Strategic Talks with PLA

First visit to Beijing comes amid heightened tensions

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will make his first visit to China this week for talks with Chinese military leaders amid growing tensions over China’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea.

Mattis told reporters aboard an Air Force E-4B jet, a militarized Boeing 747, en route to northern Alaska that he plans to gauge China’s strategic approach to the United States during talks in Beijing.

“On our relations with China, obviously we’re reviewing our military-to-military relationship [to] make sure it’s aligned within our larger strategic framework,” Mattis said.

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