Hailing India’s ‘indispensible role’ in peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region at the stage of the , U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis quoted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he tried to put forth his point regarding freedom of navigation on the in the South China Sea.
“We recognize India as a strategic partnerships and it’s role in stabilising the region” General Mattis said at the annual Shangri La Dialogue attended by defense ministers and heads of armed forces from Asia-Pacific nations.
— Vijay Chauthaiwale (@vijai63) June 3, 2017
At the forum, the Defense Secretary also highlighted the danger posed by North Korea ‘s nuclear program as he justified the deployment of THAAD in South Korea
He also took an aim at China’s growing ‘militarisation’ as he said that while North Korea is an urgent military threat, adding that one must not lose sight of other strategic challenges to regional peace and prosperity.
Mattis also said that while the United States welcomes China’s economic development, an economic and political friction between the two sides is anticipated, as Washington cannot accept Chinese actions that impinge on the interests of the international community.
He also pitched for a constructive, result-oriented relationship with China.
Referring to the 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the case brought by the Philippines on the South China sea, he called on all claimants to use this as a starting point to peacefully manage their disputes in the South China sea.
In an apparent reference to China, he also opposed countries militarizing artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims unsupported by international law.