General slams 'irresponsible comments' on S. China Sea

From left Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Australia's Defense Minister Marise Payne

From left Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Australia's Defense Minister Marise Payne. AAP

Mattis's handle in Singapore returned to a theme that he and different senior U.S. officers have hammered residence since Trump took workplace - that America is right here to remain within the Asia-Pacific area and that allies ought to stick to Washington as an alternative of aligning with Beijing.

A French maritime task group, together with British helicopters and ships, will visit Singapore next week and then sail into certain areas of the South China Sea, French armed forces minister Florence Parly announced, according to the South China Morning Post.

France and the United Kingdom will challenge Beijing by sailing through contested waters in the South China Sea.

Mr Mattis responded that the question reflected a fundamental disconnect with the way global tribunals have spoken on the matter.

Both France and the United Kingdom will challenge Beijing by sailing through "territorial waters" in the South China Sea this week.

Mattis' remarks follow a rocky past few weeks in US-China relations as the administration of US President Donald Trump seeks to balance cooperation with China on issues like North Korea with dealing with Beijing's activities in the disputed sea.

But "China's policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to to the openness of our strategy", he continued.

Without specifically mentioning the South China Sea, Williamson warned that "increasingly aggressive states infringing regional access, freedoms and security through coercion" are threatening the rules-based order.

Two U.S. warships sailed close to the Paracel Islands on May 27 in the latest freedom of navigation operation created to challenge Beijing's claims. China had participated in these exercises in 2014 and 2016.


U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday said China's behavior in disputed areas of the South China Sea is meant to intimidate and coerce its neighbors.

The Pentagon said the decision to disinvite the Chinese Navy was triggered by what it called strong evidence that China has deployed weapons systems on the islands, and called on China to remove them.

"Any discussion about the number of the US troops in the ROK is subject to the invitation to have them there and the discussion between the USA and ROK, separate from the issue with DPRK", Mattis said.

But speaking at the same conference, China's Lt Gen He Lei said: "Any irresponsible comments from other countries can not be accepted". It was the latest freedom of navigation operation created to challenge Beijing's claims. But while other countries have built military features and artificial islands, none come close to matching Beijing's in scale or ambition, which stretch hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan. China protested the maneuver.

China's delegation at the conference is being led by Lt. Gen.

Zhao Xiaozhuo, a senior researcher at the Academy of Military Science, said that He's comments suggested the PLA might be moving closer to considering military action to "reclaim" Taiwan if Washington insisted on supporting the island's ruling, and independence-leaning, Democratic Progressive Party.

The U.S. will continue to pursue "a results-oriented relationship with Beijing, competing vigorously where we must", Mattis said.

The French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly, said she welcomes the signs of dialogue, but added that sanctions should continue until denuclearization is achieved in a full, verifiable and irreversible manner.

China has not sent high-level officials to the Shangri-La conference.

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