The Pentagon’s assistant secretary of defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Randall Schriver said that US defence secretary Jim Mattis and his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe are set to meet at regional security summit in Singapore on Thursday.
Schriver said that Chinese are interested in keeping things normal and in having military relationship with US to stabilize the relationship.
Schriver told reporters travelling with Mattis, “I think the fact that (Mattis is now) meeting with Minister Wei is some evidence that the Chinese are interested in keeping things normal and stable — as are we. What we have heard in our dialogue is the Chinese are interested in having a military relationship that’s a stabilizing force in the overall relationship”.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 18, 2018
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) defence ministers are meeting in Singapore to discuss the regional security concerns amid China’s increasing military influence in the South China Sea.
Schriver said that our message will be no single country can change the international law and US will continue to operate in the international waters to maintain ‘freedom of navigation’.
He said, “Our message will be no single country can change international law, international norms. We will fly sail and operate where international law allows but we are also looking for partners to give voice to keeping … international law … upheld”.
He said, “We need to make sure that when we step on one another’s toes it doesn’t escalate into something that would be catastrophic”.
US sanctioned China last month over purchase of Russian fighter jets and S-400 missile system, following that China cancelled meeting between head of the Chinese Navy and his US counterpart and a planned visit of US warship to a port in Hong Kong.
As per International law to maintain the freedom of navigation US warships sail through South China Sea frequently, challenging China’s aggressive military buildup in the region.
Recently a Chinese warship sailed within yards of a US warship that Pentagon described as unsafe and unprofessional.