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Defense Secretary Mattis Threatens China

By Stephen Lendman

US policies toward China are hostile. Xi Jinping’s earlier meeting with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate masked fundamental differences between both countries, risking eventual confrontation.

At the Asia Security Forum in Singapore, Mattis welcomed Beijing’s help in challenging North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

At the same time, he challenged China irresponsibly, accusing its government of “(a)rtificial island construction and indisputable militarization of facilities in international waters, undermin(ing) regional stability,” adding:

“We cannot and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo, claiming Chinese construction shows its “disregard for international law (and) contempt for other nations’ interests.”

Meddling in a part of the world not its own is longstanding US policy, forcing its will on other nations by pressure, bullying or force.

Beijing claims sovereignty over the South China Sea waters in question. People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Science vice president He Lei refuted Mattis’ “freedom of navigation” claims and America’s so-called “rules-based” order, saying:

“There is no such problem as freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. But sending warships to Chinese islands and patrolling adjacent sea areas to conduct military activities does not belong to the scope of the freedom of navigation.”

According to Center on China-America Defense Relations director emeritus Yao Yunzhu, Mattis’ remarks showed continuation of Washington’s hostile policy toward China, its Asia/Pacific policy unchanged.

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing “always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight all countries enjoy under international law.”

“But we are consistently opposed to relevant countries threatening and damaging the sovereignty and security of littoral countries under the flag of freedom of navigation and overflight. We hope relevant countries can do more to safeguard regional peace and stability.”

Beijing warned Washington to stay out of waters it considers its own, saying “China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters.”

It considers US intrusion under the ruse of freedom of navigation “illegal” and “provocative,” Trump continuing adversarial practices he predecessors began.

Washington seeks unchallenged global dominance. Russia and China represent the last frontier of resistance against its aggressive imperial ambitions.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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