Mattis says U.S. to continue operations in South China Sea

Mattis says U.S. to continue operations in South China SeaBy Idrees Ali ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that the United States would continue to confront what Washington sees as China’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea, despite drawing condemnation from Beijing for an operation in the region over the weekend. Reuters first reported that two U.S. Navy warships sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China on Sunday, even as President Donald Trump seeks Chinese cooperation on North Korea. The operation, known as “freedom of navigation,” was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, where Chinese, Japanese and some Southeast Asian navies operate.



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