China-US Tension Rises, Beijing Rejects ‘Irresponsible’ US Remarks

Washington has repeatedly expressed concerns that China’s development of artificial islands in South China Sea poses a threat to freedom of navigation in a major artery for international trade.

NDTV
Date: June 05, 2017
By: Agence France-Presse

BEIJING: China has expressed “firm opposition” to remarks made by US Pentagon chief

US Navy warships have often patrolled near the disputed waters of the South China Sea. (Reuters)

Jim Mattis during a regional defence summit over the weekend, after he criticised Beijing’s “militarisation” of the South China Sea.

Washington has repeatedly expressed concerns that China’s development of artificial islands in the region poses a threat to freedom of navigation through its waters, a major artery for international trade.

Competing claims to the sea, which is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits, have for decades made it one of Asia’s potential military flashpoints.

“The scope and effect of China’s construction activities in the South China Sea differ from other countries in several key ways,” Mattis noted, saying Beijing’s “militarisation” and “disregard for international law” showed its “contempt” for other nations’ interests.
[FULL  STORY]

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