TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Beijing and Washington are locked in a spiraling trade war that has seen them level increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other's imports.
Friction between the world's top two economies is now moving beyond trade, with U.S. President Donald Trump accusing Beijing this week of seeking to interfere in congressional elections, marking what U.S. officials told Reuters was a new phase in an escalating campaign by Washington to put pressure on China.
On the military front, China has been infuriated by the United States putting sanctions on the People's Liberation Army (PLA) for buying weapons from Russia, and by what Beijing sees as stepped up U.S. support for self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as its sacred territory.
Two Beijing-based diplomatic sources familiar with the plans said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis were both due in Beijing next month for the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, which first took place last year in Washington, a reboot of earlier high-level talks under previous administrations.
However, both sources said that this meeting was now in doubt.
"There is a lot of uncertainty because of the turbulence in the relationship," said one the sources.
The second source said that the People's Liberation Army was especially unhappy with the United States at the moment because of the U.S. sanctions on the Chinese military and U.S. support for Taiwan, including approving a new round of arms sales this week.
"The PLA is fed up over the Taiwan issue. They're increasingly hardline on this," the source said.