WASHINGTON - China has canceled a security meeting with US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis that had been planned for October, a senior US official said on Sunday, days after a top Chinese official said there was no reason to panic over tensions between the countries.
The official, who is involved in China policy and spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was not clear if or when the meeting would be rescheduled.
The cancellation was first reported by the New York Times.
The official said it was not clear whether the cancellation was because of the broad range of disputes between Beijing and Washington on issues such as arms sales and military activity in the South China Sea and other waters around China.
China and the United States are also locked in a spiraling trade war that has seen them level increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other's imports.
"The tension is escalating, and that could prove to be dangerous to both sides," the official said.
The US State Department declined comment. Officials at the White House and Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China's Foreign and Defense Ministries also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.