Mattis: US will confront China on the militarization of the islands

HONOLULU – Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis says the US will continue to confront China’s militarization of artificial islands in the South china Sea.

Mattis says Beijing is not held to her promise not to have weapons on the Spratly Islands.

He says that the American ships are maintaining a “steady drumbeat” of marine operations around the disputed islands, and “only one country” seems not to be bothered by the ships’ activities.

Mattis says the U. S will confront “what we believe is not in accordance with international law.”

During the weekend, two AMERICAN warships sailed close to the Paracel Islands, north of the Spratlys, drawing protests from China.

Mattis spoke with journalists traveling with him to a national security conference in Singapore.

He will stop in Hawaii to mark a change in leadership in the U.S. Pacific Command.

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