China is committed to peace but cannot give up “even one inch” of territory that the country’s ancestors left behind, Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday during his first visit to Beijing.

Xi’s remarks underscored deep-rooted areas of tension in Sino-U.S. ties, particularly over what the Pentagon views as China’s militarization of the South China Sea, a vital transit route for world trade.

But irritants in U.S.-China relations extend to other sensitive areas, including fears of a full-blown trade war between the world economic heavyweights.

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