Mattis warns of Chinese “intimidation”; says U.S. seeks “results-oriented” ties
SINGAPORE, (Reuters) - The United States is willing to work with China on a “results- oriented” relationship, but Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea were coercive and the Pentagon would “compete vigorously” if needed, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday.
The comments by Mattis, speaking at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, come at a time of increased tension between the two nations in the South China Sea and highlight how President Donald Trump’s administration is looking to balance China’s cooperation on North Korea while dealing with its activities in the disputed sea.
“China’s policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to the openness that our strategy promotes, it calls into question China’s broader goals,” said Mattis, who said he would be travelling to Beijing this month.
“The U.S. 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 ... of course we recognise any sustainable IndoPacific order has a role for China,” he said.