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China rejects 'ridiculous' U.S. accusation of South China Sea militarisation

01 June 2018

Esperon said building the lighthouses is part of the government's bid to upgrade the Philippine-owned islands in the resource-rich waters. Earlier this month, China also landed bombers in the islands.

The Chinese government, which claims much of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory, has established a significant military presence in the region, installing radar facilities and airstrips on contested islands and reefs.

Though the US' latest freedom of navigation operation was likely planned months in advance, experts said it was suggestive of the US' attempts to pursue a harder line against China in the South China Sea.

"When they do things that are opaque to the rest of us, we can't cooperate in areas that we would otherwise cooperate in", Mattis told reporters.

"For those who keep saying, "File a protest, file a protest, ' what do we mean when we said, 'We are taking all diplomatic actions"?"

"The diplomats are continuing to meet ... at Panmunjom and there's some folks already in Singapore", Mattis said.

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It was the primary time multiple United States vessel had been used within the workouts, in line with specialists, a part of a latest escalation in USA opposition to China's motion within the area.

The Philippines and China recently held talks to prevent a repeat of the incident, which earned the "displeasure" of President Rodrigo Duterte, the official said.

He added that the area was regarded as worldwide waters and many countries wanted to exercise their freedom of navigation.

"This administration does not and will not abandon the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea disputes".

"China's continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serve to raise tensions and destabilize the region", a Pentagon spokesman, Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, said.

"This is necessary for trade, the preservation of the livelihood of the fisherfolk, and the timely delivery of basic necessities of the community in the municipality of Pag-asa", he said.

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The Pentagon withdrew its invitation for China to participate in a multinational naval exercise the hosting this summer, in what it called "an initial response" to China's militarization of the South China Sea.

China says navy pilots aboard the country's sole operating aircraft carrier have completed their first nighttime takeoffs and landings.

But Mattis said, there is only one country that seems to take active steps to rebuff or state their resentment over the USA recent freedom of navigation operations in the worldwide waters.

"You'll notice there is only one country that seems to take active steps to rebuff them or state their resentment [to] them, but it's global waters and a lot of nations want to see freedom of navigation", Mattis told reporters while enroute to Hawaii.

But after pounding on the Aquino administration's alleged failures, Cayetano said, "We're not blaming the past administration, some critics are making it appear na iba ang situation ngayon".

U.S. Navy Adm. Philip Davidson will take over PACOM from Adm. Harry Harris during the change of command on Wednesday.

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The current head, Admiral Harry Harris, has been nominated to be the new ambassador to South Korea.

China rejects 'ridiculous' U.S. accusation of South China Sea militarisation