Mattis accuses China for 'intimidation and coercion'

Speaking at a high-profile security summit in Singapore 10 days before President Donald Trump is due to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the Pentagon chief also said the US military continues to support diplomats pushing for the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Mattis accuses China for 'intimidation and coercion'

World Bulletin / News Desk

China's military build-up in the South China Sea and its deployment of high-end weapons systems in the disputed waterway is designed to intimidate and coerce neighbours, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday.

Beijing has deployed a range of military hardware including anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers across the South China Sea, where it has built islets and other maritime features into hardened military facilities, Mattis said.

China has also landed heavy bombers on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands.

"Despite China's claims to the contrary, the placement of these weapon systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion," Mattis told the Shangri-La Dialogue.

He also blasted Chinese President Xi Jinping for reneging on a 2015 promise made at the White House that Beijing would not militarise the island features in the South China Sea.

Mattis' address in Singapore was the second time he had attended the summit since becoming Pentagon chief.

He returned to a theme that he and other senior US officials have hammered home since Trump took office -- that America is here to stay in the Asia-Pacific region and that allies should stick with Washington instead of aligning with Beijing.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Haziran 2018, 12:28
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