Mattis disputes China's specious claim to Japanese islands

streiff:
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For eight long years Obama’s foreign policy revolved around placating our enemies and scaring the living Hell out of our allies with his fecklessness. Nowhere was this more evident than in the South China Sea where several US allies — Japan, South Korea, the Philippines — and some other small countries, like Vietnam, are being bullied into submission by China. In the past few months the Philippines has suspended military cooperation with the United States over its uncertainty about our intentions and China even hijacked a US submersible in international waters.

China is creating geographical facts by constructing artificial islands in order to create a territorial claim for all of the South China Sea. Perhaps, though, one of the most provocative things it has done is directly challenge Japan’s sovereignty. The territory in question are the Senkaku Islands. Here China, as it has done in Tibet, has constructed specious historical claims out of whole cloth and is essentially daring the international community to call bullsh** on its bullsh**. China is trying to bully Japan into relinquishing control of these island to China and has taken to intentionally violating airspace and territorial waters to keep tensions high.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is on a visit to the Pacific rim and took the opportunity to publicly state, or rather restate, the United States position on the Senkaku Islands....
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According to Stars & Stripes, Mattis also reaffirmed the right of US Navy and merchant marine ships to operate in the South China Sea regardless of China’s claims while at the same time seeming rule out any large scale deployment to assert freedom of movement.
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There is more.

Mattis is reasserting US policy in a blunt way in Asia.  He has warned the Norks of the terrible things that will happen to them if they launch a nuclear attack and he has made it clear to China that the US will not ignore their aggression in Asia.

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