U.S.' Mattis looks for 'way ahead' after China scraps military talks

By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday he was seeking a way ahead for military ties with China after Beijing postponed military talks in protest at last week's U.S

Reuters September 25, 2018 05:05:30 IST
U.S.' Mattis looks for 'way ahead' after China scraps military talks

US Mattis looks for way ahead after China scraps military talks

By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday he was seeking a way ahead for military ties with China after Beijing postponed military talks in protest at last week's U.S. decision to impose sanctions over China's purchase of Russian weaponry.

Mattis travelled to China in June in an attempt to deepen military-to-military dialogue with Beijing, even as Sino-U.S. trade tensions climb and anxiety in Washington grows over China's modernization of its armed forces and its increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea.

"We believe that we do have to have a relationship with China and Secretary (of State Mike) Pompeo and I are of one mind on this," Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.

"And so we're sorting out the way ahead right now."

China's Defence Ministry has said it would recall navy chief Shen Jinlong from a visit to the United States and postpone planned talks in Beijing between Chinese and U.S. military officials that had been set for next week.

It added that China's military reserved the right to take further countermeasures.

At the Pentagon, Lieutenant Colonel Dave Eastburn confirmed that the U.S. military had been informed that China's Navy chief would no longer meet America's top naval officer, Admiral John Richardson.

"We have no additional information at this time," he said. On Thursday, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on China's Equipment Development Department, the branch of the military responsible for weapons procurement, after it engaged in "significant transactions" with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms exporter.

The sanctions are related to China's purchase of 10 SU-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018, the State Department said.

The sanctions are aimed at Russia. They fall under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which was signed into law in 2017 to punish Russia for meddling in U.S. elections, aggression in Ukraine and involvement in Syria's civil war.

The mobile S-400 batteries, which include radars, a control system, and missiles with a range of up to 250 miles (400 km), were first deployed in Russia in 2007 and are considered Moscow's most effective defense against aircraft, missiles and drones.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by James Dalgleish)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.