Beijing: ‘China is firm on its stance about the South China Sea and Taiwan. Our attitude is firm and clear in terms of Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, that we would not lose a single inch of the lands we inherited from our ancestors,’ were the words used by Chinese President Xi Jinping to warn the US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis. At the same time, the Chinese Defence Minister has appealed that China and the United States can work jointly to reduce the military tensions in the region.
The US Secretary of Defense James Mattis is on a visit to China at a time when the mainland and the United States are locked in a trade war. Besides the trade war, the tensions between the two countries have also steeply escalated due to the increasing ties between Taiwan and the United States as well as the issue of the South China Sea. To add to this, there were reports of the US fighter pilots being subjected to laser attacks while patrolling in the South China Sea.
There also were reports of the US fighter pilots being attacked with lasers near the Chinese Djibouti military base. At the same time, there were experiments of sonic attacks on the US diplomatic officials in China. Therefore, the tensions between China and the United States appeared to be intensifying. In view of this, the visit by the US Secretary of Defense to China is highly significant.
As expected, the Chinese President adopted an adamant stand and refused to negotiate about the issues concerning the South China Sea and Taiwan, whereas, the US Secretary of Defense made a suggestive demand that there should be a dialogue between the militaries of the two countries to avoid sparking of a conflict.
Meanwhile, although the Chinese President has sternly warned that ‘we will not accept anybody’s domination in the South China Sea’, a US aircraft carrier has docked in a harbour in the Philippines. The US navy has declared that ‘USS Ronald Regan’ has been deployed in the Manila port in the Philippines, which seems to be a warning for China.