China upset at Mattis' "irresponsible remarks" on S.China Sea

China upset at Mattis'

Speaking in Sydney as part of AusMin - Australia and America's annual bilateral foreign, security and defence meeting - Tillerson said there was no room for negotiation on China's island-building in the South China Sea, which was found unlawful by the permanent court of arbitration in the Hague past year.

Mattis took the opportunity to discuss ongoing concerns maintained by the United States and its allies regarding nuclear and ballistic weapons programs in North Korea and the freedom of trade and transit throughout contested waterways like the South China Sea. "But we will not use our allies and partners or our relationships with them, or the capability integral to their security as bargaining chips", he said.

"We hope relevant parties can fully respect and support regional countries' efforts to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea and play a constructive role in this regard, rather than the opposite", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. China will also work with ASEAN to uphold peace and stability in the region, He said.

"What we're seeing is a growing list of some irritants in the region that have been there for some time", Tillerson said.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several South-east Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Hishammuddin said the Five Powers Defence Arrangement Defence Ministers' Meeting, which Malaysia is a part of, has agreed to share intelligence on terrorist threats in Malaysia and Singapore.

Mattis made at a regional security summit about China's construction and militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea.

China on Tuesday cautioned India and other Asian countries against forming informal alliances to counter its increasing assertiveness as they can not rely on the United States in Trump era.

Ms Hua hit back saying China was within its sovereignty to build defence facilities on the islands and claimed it was exercising "self defence rights. and it has nothing to do with "militarization". In strident rhetoric, Mattis portrayed North Korea as a "clear and present danger" and a "threat to us all", underlining the necessity for a decisive and cooperative response.

The defense secretary stressed that the U.S. will continue to "fly, sail, and operate wherever global law allows, and demonstrate resolve through operational presence in the South China Sea and beyond".

Carl Thayer, a regional security analyst at the Australian Defence Force Academy, said the U.S. Pacific commander is like a pro-consul of old, with vast delegated authority and responsibility across 36 nations.

Mattis called upon all countries to contribute sufficiently to their own security.

Lieutenant General He Lei, vice-president of the PLA Academy of Military Science and head of the PLA delegation, told the audience on Saturday that China is always committed to resolving worldwide disputes through peaceful negotiations and opposes to the use or threat of force.

Since assuming the Pentagon's leadership, Mattis has bid to reassure key allies in Western Europe and Northeast Asia about the Trump administration's commitment to existing alliances.

"It means one avenue did not meet our nation's - population's desires".

"And from my first trips as Secretary of Defense, and from Vice President [Mike] Pence's first trips, Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson's trips, the American administration is demonstrating the priority that we place on relationships in the Asia-Pacific region, a priority region for us". "We will be there with you".

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