REDUCED RAPPORT: Beijing would pay for antagonizing its neighbors militarily and through the debt incurred by its Belt and Road Initiative, the US defense leader said
Date: Jun 03, 2018
The world has to deal with China’s militarization of the South China Sea for now, but Beijing
would face “larger consequences” in the long term that could persuade it to change track, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said yesterday.
Beijing’s deployment of missile batteries and bombers to outposts in disputed areas appear aimed at intimidating its neighbors, Mattis told delegates at the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
Such moves had caused the US to reconsider its “cooperative stance” and disinvite China from the Rim of the Pacific Exercise later this month, he added.
That was a relatively small penalty for China to pay and the region would be “dealing with the reality” of its territorial claims over a vital global shipping route, Mattis said.
“I believe there are much larger consequences in the future, when nations lose the rapport of their neighbors,” Mattis told reporters after his speech.
He also attacked what he said were excessive loans made under China’s Belt and Road Initiative that were binding smaller nations in debt. [FULL STORY]