Following the surprise Monday cancellation of the annual security talks between the US and China, Chinese Foreign Ministry officials revealed that the announcement was made at the request of the US.
Chinese officials elaborated that the US had expressed interest in postponing the talks because of tensions, and that the two sides would maintain communications during that time. US officials have yet to confirm this.
It would, however, explain why US officials like Defense Secretary James Mattis were downplaying the announcement on Monday, and saying it wasn’t a sign of worsening tensions between the two nations.
Still, between the growing trade war and the recent US confrontations in the South China Sea, tensions are very much worsening. The decision to postpone talks, if not specifically a sign things are getting even worse, is clearly an indicator that things aren’t all they could be.