After Beijing's criticism, Mattis says 'steady drumbeat' of FONOPs to continue

U.S. Navy: Chinese warships maneuvered in

Esperon said the Philippines is building five lighthouses on the Kalayaan Group of Islands, a feature of Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea which is claimed by Manila, according to ABS-CBN News.

Mattis said on Tuesday that the United States would pushback against what it sees as China's militarization of islands in the South China Sea, despite drawing condemnation from Beijing for an operation in the region over the weekend. China this month deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on the disputed Spratly Islands off the Philippine coast and flew nuclear-capable bombers to a base in another disputed part of the sea.

Political opponents are outraged at his government's failure even to lodge a diplomatic protest, but Duterte, unlike his predecessor, enjoys good relations with Beijing and wants its investment, often saying he can not afford to go to war with a far superior China.

The military operation that has been famously known as the freedom of navigation is the latest attempt by the United States to counter China's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the waters.

National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr. made this assurance Wednesday amid criticisms that the Duterte administration has abandoned the 2016 United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)'s decision nullifying China's 9-dash line map which covers almost the whole of South China Sea (SCS). "So, when the critics tells us na dapat kontrolado 'yan, we simply state the fact that nawala noon 'yan, ngayon we're trying to get it back", Cayetano said.

However, Cayetano said the president, who has been criticised for his refusal to confront China with the Philippines' 2016 victory at the Hague Tribunal, had warned that he would go to war with Beijing if it broke his "red lines" relating to the South China Sea.

He said US diplomats are "robustly engaged" on the issue, and that there is growing global concern.

More news: Ellicott City flooding prompts emergency rescues, state of emergency

"When they (Chinese) do things that are opaque to the rest of us, then we can not cooperate in areas that we would otherwise cooperate in", Mattis told reporters, adding that American diplomats were working on the issue and heard concerns about Chinese actions not just from the USA government but other regional allies as well.

China has voiced "strong dissatisfaction" after two USA naval warships passed within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-claimed islands in while conducting naval manoeuvring exercises, adding to simmering tensions in the strategic waterway.

Plus, the sea is a major global trade link - commodities from Africa and West Asia travel through South China Sea en route to China, Japan and South Korea.

"The concerns have come to me not just from American government circles, but also from foreign nations that are concerned, very concerned about this continued militarization of features in the South China Sea".

Esperon assured that the government is not remiss in finding diplomatic approaches to address issues over the South China Sea, officially recognized in the country as the West Philippine Sea.

"(The sailings) contravened Chinese and relevant global law, seriously infringed upon Chinese sovereignty (and) harmed strategic mutual trust between the two militaries", he said.

The US secretary of defense is expected to preside over the change of guard in the US Pacific Command. He will be replaced by Admiral Philip Davidson.

Related News:

  • Crude Prices Mixed After Last Week's Drop

    Crude Prices Mixed After Last Week's Drop

    The global sulfur limit on fuel oil will be set at 0.5% m/m (mass/mass) in 2020 down from the 3.5% m/m current global limits. The Conference Board said Tuesday its measure of U.S. consumer confidence increased to 128.0 in May from 125.6 in April.
    IOS 11.4 brings a long awaited messaging feature

    IOS 11.4 brings a long awaited messaging feature

    Specifically for HomePod users, the iOS 11.4 update brings support for setting up HomePod stereo pair using your iPhone or iPad. Here's a complete tutorial on how you can enable Messages in iCloud in iOS 11 / iOS 11.4 and how you can use it too.
    Pakistan fined for slow over-rate during Lords Test

    Pakistan fined for slow over-rate during Lords Test

    Buttler, who closed on 66 not out, shared an unbroken partnership of 125 with debutant Dom Bess . The innings ended when Amir knocked over Bess's off-stump as the batsman went to drive.
  • Spain's Carvajal still hoping to play at World Cup

    Spain's Carvajal still hoping to play at World Cup

    Asked if Salah can star again for the Reds in the final, the 2005 Champions League victor told talkSPORT: "Yeah, definitely". The latest setback came after the right-back tried to backheel a pass and it appeared that he had aggravated his hamstring.
    Top Korean aide lands in Singapore as summit looms

    Top Korean aide lands in Singapore as summit looms

    Sung Kim is a former US ambassador to South Korea and was a top negotiator with North Korea in past nuclear talks. Since then, North Korea has rejected USA demands for it to unilaterally abandon its nuclear weapons programme.
    Indians killed, several missing after Cyclone Mekunu hits Oman and Yemen

    Indians killed, several missing after Cyclone Mekunu hits Oman and Yemen

    An Asian person died in a flooded valley and an Omani national in a 4x4 was killed when his vehicle was swept away, Shanfari said. The Port of Salalah - a key gateway for the country - also closed, its cranes secured against the pounding rain.
  • Weinstein faces sex charges amid #MeToo reckoning

    Weinstein faces sex charges amid #MeToo reckoning

    Harvey Weinstein has been arraigned on rape , criminal sex act and other sex charges stemming from encounters with two women. Another aspiring actress, Mimi Haleyi, said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his NY apartment in 2006.
    Hamas announces cease-fire between Israel, Gaza groups

    Hamas announces cease-fire between Israel, Gaza groups

    This latest episode also followed weeks of deadly demonstrations and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border, beginning on 30 March. More than 110 Palestinians have been killed as Israeli troops used live fire to prevent a breach of the border fence.

    José Mourinho targets Porto full-back Diogo Dalot for Manchester United

    A naturally right-footed player, Dalot has shown his versatility by also playing on the left side throughout his Porto career. If he refuses to sign a new deal, United and Chelsea, who are also interested, could make a move in the coming weeks.
  • Japan reports to UN N.Korea's suspected smuggling

    Japan reports to UN N.Korea's suspected smuggling

    Trump said he doesn't know what the letter will say but says he thinks "it'll be very positive". Lavrov was the first Russian official to be received by Kim, Russian news agencies said.
    Militants attack Afghan ministry with bomb, grenades & gunfire

    Militants attack Afghan ministry with bomb, grenades & gunfire

    Three attackers, wearing military uniforms, detonated explosives while the others were shot by government troops, officials said. A coordinated assault on the interior ministry building in Afghanistan's capital ended with all 10 attackers killed.
    Landfall expected today in Florida

    Landfall expected today in Florida

    Early forecasts from the Weather Prediction Center show an inch of rain falling over the next seven days across much of Upstate. Alberto is forecasted to make landfall as a strong tropical storm in Alabama or the panhandle late in the day on Monday.


Most liked

'Murdered' Russian Journalist Arkady Babchenko Turns Up at Press Conference
He said: "Four years ago General Kulchitsky wouldn't take me on his helicopter because there wasn't the space". Babchenko fled Russian Federation in 2017, writing on social media he no longer felt safe living there.

Tesla Model 3 gets CR recommendation after OTA brake update
Consumer Reports said it will rent another Model 3 from Tesla to check on the changes and will report back on the results. The improved braking distance pushed the Model 3's overall score up enough for the organization to issue a recommendation.

Fraudsters May Have Taken Data at CIBC's Simplii, BMO
In both cases, the attackers have threatened to publish the customer data. "But this is deeper financial information". Previously, companies which had been hacked had been alerting the public on their own timeline.

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are reportedly dating
The man in question is hunky actor-singer Nick Jonas . "She's a lovely person and I'm dying now to go to India", he told IANS. The couple was first seen attending the Met Gala together previous year which sparked rumors of a potential relationship.

Roseanne Barr Blames Ambien For Racist Tweet In String Of New Apologies
Barr's tweet was a reply to a tweet that accused Jarrett of helping to cover up alleged misdeeds by the Obama administration. I feel so empowered by @iamwandasykes, Channing Dungey and anyone at ABC standing up for morals and abuse of power.

Duterte will go to war over South China Sea: Minister
He said the Philippines could seek the help of its ally countries to pressure China to stop its military activities. The operation also clearly angered many Chinese netizens, who took to the Internet to protest the provocation.

`Solo' Tops `Deadpool 2' at Weekend Box Office
The number, while being the biggest Memorial Day weekend debut in the last four years, came in well under industry expectations. Lucasfilm has at least nine more Star Wars films in the works. "It is summer, after all", said Dergarabedian.

Pres. Trump Welcomes US Citizen Jailed In Venezuela To White House
Josh Holt's parents praised Trump, other administration officials and lawmakers involved in securing his and his wife's release. After the couple were arrested on June 30, 2016, top Venezuelan officials had accused him of being a United States spy.

Lava in Hawaii covers 2 wells of geothermal plant
Meanwhile, about 60,000 gallons of pentane, a highly-flammable chemical, were moved from the PGV site early this month. Geological Survey's Hawaii Volcano Observatory described the eruption from the East Rift Zone as "vigorous".

Fourth line leads Golden Knights to thrilling Game 1 win over Capitals
No matter who wins this series, someone is getting their first Cup, with the Golden Knights taking the first step Monday night. Oh, and there's the hockey game itself. "Lot of up and down", Schmidt said. "It was a pretty emotional game for everybody".

Warriors Iguodala officially out for Game 7
During that time, he helped the Rockets win the NBA Finals in 1994 against the New York Knicks and in 1995 against Orlando Magic. On Monday morning, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala was having a hard time being sidelined deep into the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors: 3 takeaways from Game 6 vs. Rockets
Curry and Thompson shot well the entire second half , but they ended any chance at a comeback in those first six minutes. Of course their 10-point lead at the half wasn't going to go unchallenged. "But we knew this was hard".

Israeli Army Kills 3 Gaza Militants After Foiling Border Bombing
According to the Islamic Jihad group, two men were part of their armed wing, called the al-Quds Brigades. The Gazan health ministry identified those killed as Hussein al-Amour, 25, and Abdul Haleem al-Naqa, 28.

Indy 500: Will Power, Wife Liz Freak Out After Thrilling Victory
It's both of them. "I had all my people around me, so I was in good spirits". "It just didn't come today". Kanaan's crash with 12 laps remaining set up a final restart with Oriol Servia out front.

Warriors crush Rockets to force Game 7 in West
For the Warriors, Klay Thompson came up big once again in an elimination Game 6, dropping 35 points, including nine 3-pointers. Considering the ups and downs of this series and the mystique of the Warriors, it's about the best thing we can hope for.