Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

China rejects "ridiculous" US accusation of South China Sea militarisation

China rejects

"The United States military presence in the South China Sea is greater than that of China and other countries that surround the seas combined", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis lands in Kabul on March 13, 2018 on an unannounced trip to Afghanistan.

Cayetano's speech came as the US Navy sailed two warships within 12 nautical miles of China's artificial islands in the Paracels, as part of their freedom of navigation exercises in the contested waters.

Much to the displeasure of Beijing, which called the action a serious infringement of Chinese sovereignty, the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins and the cruiser USS Antietam sailed within 12 miles of four of the Paracel Islands to demonstrate the "freedom of navigation" and enforce the right of free passage in worldwide waters.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the US will continue to confront China's increasing militarization of islands in the South China Sea - despite the USA angering Beijing over the weekend by sending two Navy ships to the region.

"We are going out of our way to cooperate with Pacific nations, that's the way we do business in the world", he said.

Mattis said US diplomats were engaged on the issue and he had heard concerns about Chinese actions not just from within the United States government, but also from regional allies.

It was the primary time multiple U.S. vessel had been used within the workouts, in line with specialists, a part of a latest escalation in U.S. opposition to China's motion within the area.

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He added that the possibility of referring back to the matter back to the United Nations "was not discussed during this meeting". The move has put the deal in "intensive care", the senior Iranian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

China always asserts that its actions are defensive in nature, arguing that the deployment of various weapons systems do not constitute "militarization" and are, therefore, not a violation of past agreements. -China relations are expected to be a major focus of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

The President has already mentioned that. He said the best reaction would be a coherent, consistent and strong strategy that not only makes use of the military tools for deterrence or "compellence" against Chinese behavior in the South China Sea, but also deploys a more holistic set of instruments.

However he mentioned it was unfair to single out China for its superior militarization within the South China Sea.

The operation, known as "freedom of navigation", was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, where Chinese, Japanese and some Southeast Asian navies operate. "If there is more than one country militarizing, and it's not only the islands, if huge navies are sailing through the area, is that not militarization?" he said.

China's claim over the South China Sea is different from its neighbors' interpretations.

The current head, Admiral Harry Harris, has been nominated to be the new ambassador to South Korea.

The government will use the global tribunal ruling invalidating China's claim over the entire South China Sea "at the proper time", National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said.

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