Japan, France welcome US leadership in the Asia-Pacific

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has voiced support for the unanimous United Nations decision and called on North Korea to refrain from repeated nuclear tests and missile launches.

He also urged leaders to "reject the de-globalisation impulse", in what could be seen as a criticism of some of the U.S. administration's more isolationist policies, after the United States withdrawal from the Paris accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

In response, Mattis said that Americans have historically been reluctant to bear the world's burdens and urged nations to give them time.

Asked by a general of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in the audience if this meant the U.S. was abandoning the "one China policy", which treats China and Taiwan as one country, Mr Mattis denied this was the case.

North Korea is accelerating its push to acquire a nuclear-armed missile capable of threatening the United States and other nations, and the USA regards this as a "clear and present danger", Mattis said in his speech at the forum.

The Trump administration "seems to stake its credibility on North Korea refraining from developing an ICBM, without sending a strong signal to deter it from doing so".

According to him, the Trump administration is encouraged by China's renewed commitment to work with the global community towards denuclearisation.

The measures imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on four entities and 14 officials, including the head of North Korea's overseas spying operations.

The defense chief spoke directly to concerns that America might grant concessions to China in order to ensure its cooperation on North Korea, saying the issue was not "binary" and that the United States would continue to pressure Beijing elsewhere.

The US military has responded to Chinese moves in the South China Sea by regularly conducting so-called "freedom of navigation" exercises involving warships and aircraft near the outposts. He also said he thinks China ultimately will see it as a liability rather than an asset.

Its islets and waters are claimed in part or in whole by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Japan and China have always been at loggerheads over tiny, uninhabited islands, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China in the East China Sea.

China, which sent only a low-key delegation to the forum, said its ties with the United States were vital for the region.

Allies around the world have been concerned about the commitment of the United States since Trump took office on January 20 because of his "America First" rhetoric and expectations that he would concentrate on a domestic agenda.

"Individual countries maintain their security through exclusive military alliances, base their security on other countries' insecurity and do not hesitate to stir up conflict and provoke trouble".

The defense chief said the Congress had brought forth an initiative to expand investment in the Department of Defense, "strengthening the rules-based order to better position us to support regional stability in a changing region".

-China relationship, adding that "while competition between the USA and China is bound to occur, conflict is not inevitable".

"We oppose countries militarising artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims unsupported by global law".

She singled out China's "unprovoked and unilateral attempts to change the status quo" in the East and South China Seas.

Mattis also said he expected "friction" in the U.S. Previously, the Security Council responded to ballistic missile launches by North Korea, other than long-range missiles, by issuing press statements, which are less effective than resolutions.

  • Leroy Wright