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Foreign affairs

Defense Secretary James Mattis is reportedly uninvited from talks in Beijing

Beijing has canceled planned U.S.-China defense talks that would have seen Defense Secretary James Mattis visiting China later this month, The New York Times reported Sunday, citing an unnamed American official. A similar CNN report described Washington as the party that decided to cancel. Neither version of events has yet been publicly confirmed by the Pentagon.

The negotiations were due to address topics including arms sales, Taiwan, and the disputed waters of the South China Sea. The cancellation is but the latest aspect of escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing thanks to the Trump administration's trade war policies.

China canceled scheduled trade talks in late September, and a U.S. warship sailed pointedly close to Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea on Sunday. Chinese President Xi Jinping "may not be a friend of mine anymore," President Trump said Wednesday. "But I think he probably respects me."