Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

China won't concede an inch in South China Sea, Xi tells Mattis

China won't concede an inch in South China Sea, Xi tells Mattis

Mr Mattis sought to reassure Seoul that the US's commitment to the region's security remained "ironclad".

Earlier that day, Mattis also met with his Chinese counterpart, China's defense minister Wei Fenghe, who similarly made clear China's hardline positions regarding Taiwan and the South China Sea, according to the defense ministry.

Mattis said discussions would focus on the "way ahead" with the goal of North Korean denuclearisation and other issues of cooperation between usa and South Korean militaries.

He will reaffirm the USA security commitment to its East Asian allies amid some nervousness about Trump's embrace of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Vincent Brooks dispelled those concerns Wednesday, noting that the suspension appears to be meant to help the allies build trust with the North and add "greater effectiveness" in diplomacy on the communist regime.

Mattis also said Washington has no plans to downsize the U.S. Forces Korea, at least for the time being.

According to Chinese spokesmen, Wei has accepted an invitation to visit the US later this year.

"I am happy to be in China and we are assigning the same high degree of importance to the military relationship" with China, Mattis said.

"Going forward, we obviously look at the actions of China, but I am going there to do a lot of listening and identification of common ground and uncommon ground on the strategic level at this time", said Mattis.

Spurs 'ready' to Move on from Kawhi Leonard
James has until Friday at 11:59 ET to decline his player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers to become an unrestricted free agent. The Spurs' Kawhi Leonard , left, split a pair of NBA Finals showdowns with LeBron James when the latter was with the Heat.

Mattis, during a brief visit to Seoul, defended US President Donald Trump's decision this month to halt "war games" with South Korea, saying it would increase the opportunity for diplomats to negotiate.

"Secretary Mattis acknowledged potential areas of cooperation, including shared interest in the denuclearization of North Korea", she added.

Song said: "The timing is right for us to talk at this critical juncture when preparations are underway for a complete denuclearization and the lasting peace of the Korean peninsula".

US and South Korean forces have trained together for decades, and always characterised the drills as defensive in nature, while Pyongyang condemned them as rehearsals for invasion and often responded with provocations of its own.

At a security conference in Singapore earlier this month, Mattis condemned the Chinese "militarization" of its Southeast Asia outposts, noting that Xi promised former US President Barack Obama that Beijing would not weaponize the islets.

But Mattis added that US and South Korean forces would remain "united, vigilant and ready".

Defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States agreed Thursday to continue peace measures as long as talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) last, Seoul's defense ministry said.

Earlier this month, Seoul and Washington chose to suspend the large-scale Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military exercise scheduled for autumn in response to Kim's rare peace gestures.

The envisioned "conditions-based" transfer of wartime operational control was also expected to be discussed at the Song-Mattis talks.

Like this: