Published: Tue, June 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

James Mattis warns Beijing over expansion in South China Sea

James Mattis warns Beijing over expansion in South China Sea

It was, he said, a "relatively small effect, I believe there are much larger consequences in the future". "It calls into question China's broader goals", Mattis said.

"I think all regional countries with the sharp eyes hope the USA can play a constructive role, and not be a destroyer but a contributor to the regional peace and stability", Hua said. Trump may be using the ship movement to pressure China over two-way trade and its support for North Korea, some analysts believe.

China has been building small islands and other maritime features into military facilities there.

Addressing the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday, Minister Lich said: "The peaceful means of dialogue, instead of confrontation, the threat to use force or unilateral action, is really the best solution, which can resolve multiple issues on the basis of common interest, respect for global laws and regional institutions".

Mr Carr says Senator Jim Molan's "brutally realistic" assessment last week that China had won in the South China Sea was backed publicly and privately by other senior military members.

He also reiterated that the Pentagon was committed to working with Taiwan to provide articles and services needed for its self defence, comments that are likely to anger China.

He also asserted the islands belong to China and that Beijing is simply acting to defend the country's sovereignty.

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

The U.S. ship movement has "made provocation against China's sovereignty", and it "constitute (s) the source of militarization in the South China Sea", China's Xinhua News Agency said Saturday.

"It's an example of the rules-based order in action", she said.

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Critics attacked the timing of Ms Trump's post on Sunday, and used it to draw attention to anger over separated and missing children.

ASEAN leaders take a group photo ahead of the opening ceremony of the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore, April 28, 2018.

"Our objective remains the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

"For the Chinese it's a matter of national pride", said Collin Koh, maritime security research fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. China normally tracks US ships until they leave.

Despite strong mutual suspicions, the United States had included China in the past two versions of the naval exercise known as Rim of the Pacific, or RimPac, in 2014 and 2016. China says it is within its rights to build up defenses on islands in the South China Sea that it believes are its sovereign territory.

"China's policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to the openness our strategy promotes".

Last month China said it had for the first time landed bombers on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, prompting United States warnings that it was destabilising the region. Washington calls those missions "freedom of navigation" operations, or FONOPs for short. China protested the move.

Last week, media reported that two United States warships had conducted freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) near the Paracel Islands, claimed by China, in the South China Sea.

"Having said that, France is not a part of territorial disputes (in the South China Sea) and will never be, and France is not at all at war with China", she added.

At the forum, Beijing's representatives responded to the French and British plans by saying the South China Sea is free and open for all to travel through, and there would be no restrictions on normal freedom of navigation.

Mattis said the Trump administration's recent decision to disinvite China from a multinational naval exercise this (northern) summer was an "initial response" to Beijing's island activity.

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