U.S. warns Beijing on South China Sea islands

China has expressed anger at "irresponsible remarks" by US Defense Secretary James Mattis, in which he accused Beijing of disregarding global law and undermining regional stability over its actions in the disputed South China Sea.

Speaking at a security conference in Singapore yesterday, he said such moves undermined regional stability.

But North Korea told his organization on Monday that it won't allow the visit because of United Nations sanctions against the North adopted last week that South Korea has vowed to implement, Hong said.

The State Department urged North Korea on Sunday to stop destabilizing actions and World War 3 rhetoric, and return to talks after Pyongyang rejected a U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution and vowed to further enlarge its nuclear arsenal.

Additionally, the United Nations Security Council will vote on Friday on a USA and Chinese proposal to blacklist more North Korean individuals and entities after the country's repeated ballistic missile launches.

Koreans from the reclusive and impoverished North have occasionally defected to the rich, democratic South by fishing boat, crossing the disputed maritime border between the two sides, but most defections are via China. "Our two countries can and do cooperate for mutual benefit".

Continued US leadership in the region ensures "rules-based order" or freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the defense chiefs said.

"The Department of Defense is focused on strengthening alliances, empowering countries to be able to sustain their own security, and strengthening USA military capabilities to deter war", Mattis said.

"North Korea poses a threat to us all". In a question-and-answer session with his audience of national security experts from across the globe, he was asked whether the USA might attack the North pre-emptively and without warning South Korea in advance.

Mattis' remarks triggered a question about whether there is any change to the U.S.'s "one China" policy, which was asked by a participant from China who felt it was unusual that the USA expressed its intention to strengthen defense links with Taiwan on such an occasion.

The statement said the latest resolution was said to have been put together by the US and China in the "back room".

It also said the country "will not flinch from the road to build up nuclear forces" and vowed to continue to carry out ballistic missile launches "until the moment when the USA and its followers are brought to reason about the root cause and a solution to the nuclear issue". It was the first time the system had been tested against a missile of intercontinental range.

With regional leaders seeking how to square US President Donald Trump's "America First" doctrine with a US leadership role in the region, Mattis strongly reaffirmed US commitment to its alliances.

The issue arose briefly during questions from his audience, but Mattis did not address it directly.

The Pentagon says it supports "in principle" a proposal by Senator John McCain, the head of the US Senate's Armed Services Committee, to increase military funding for the Asia-Pacific by $7.5 billion.

"There's going to be fresh approaches taken" to various issues by Trump, Mattis said while making it clear that he personally believes the USA needs to avoid isolationist tendencies. Japanese F-15s are also taking part in simulated combat with US F-18s.

  • Leroy Wright


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