China’s Xi Jinping Warns Mattis Beijing Won’t Back Down on Disputed Territories

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a stern warning to U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis that Beijing will not give up “one inch” of territory on disputed lands. Xi reportedly made his remarks directly to Mattis when the pair met in Beijing on Wednesday, the first visit by a U.S. defense chief in several years. “Our stance is steadfast and clear-cut when it comes to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. “We cannot lose one inch of territory passed down by our ancestors. Meanwhile, we want nothing from others,” he said. The warning appeared to be in response to Washington’s recent complaints about China’s increased military presence in the disputed South China Sea. Amid tensions over trade, some U.S. lawmakers have also irked Beijing with calls for expanded ties with Taiwan, which the Chinese government considers part of its territory.