South China Sea dispute: Beijing attacks 'irresponsible' USA comments

South China Sea dispute: Beijing attacks 'irresponsible' USA comments

South China Sea dispute: Beijing attacks 'irresponsible' USA comments

The, a state backed Chinese tabloid that does not reflect official policy, said in an editorial on Thursday that China must prepare to forcefully respond to any "extreme" USA interference in the South China Sea.

"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", he said.

Parly said although France was not a claimant in the South China Sea disputes, by conducting such exercises "on a regular basis with allies and friends" it was contributing to a rule-based order. China's Defense Ministry spokesman, Wu Qian, called the U.S. warships a "provocation" which violated global laws, and blamed the United States for growing militarization of the region.

"Vietnam pursues a defensive and peaceful defense policy, does not take sides with one country against another country; does not use force for threaten the use of force", he said.

In a high profile speech in Asia, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis blasted China for committing "intimidation and coercion" in the South China Sea and said the United States will make sure Beijing's aggression is met with "consequences".

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, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei all have competing claims to the territory.

"It is for the sake of defending ourselves", he added, and warned Beijing would take "firm measures" if other countries sent ships and aircraft close to what it considers its islands in the South China Sea.

Delegates attend the plenary sessions of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore, on June 2, 2018.

But speaking at the same conference, China's Lt Gen He Lei said: "Any irresponsible comments from other countries can not be accepted".

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"Our objective remains the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

In May, the Chinese military landed nuclear-capable bombers on its artificial islands for the first time.

Mattis said he plans to travel to Beijing later this month.

Separately, Reuters reported on Sunday that the United States is considering intensified naval patrols in the South China Sea, quoting officials and diplomats close to discussions. China protested the move.

Last week, the US withdrew an invitation for Beijing's participation in naval exercises known as the Rim of the Pacific. Weaker than China militarily but keen on access to the sea's natural resources such as oil deposits, they resent China for placing military infrastructure on the tiny islands.

It is believed to be the first time where two U.S. warships have been used for a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea.

Those who cry out against militarization are actually those who are actually undertaking militarization in the South China Sea, the senior Chinese military official said.

At least five French warships sailed through the South China Sea past year, according to the French defence minister.

"By exercising our freedom of navigation, we also place ourselves in the position of a persistent objector to the creation of any claim to de facto sovereignty on the islands", she said.

"If the USA will continue to pursue a constructive results-oriented relationship with China, cooperation, whenever possible, will be the name of the game, and competing vigorously where we must".

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