INTERNATIONAL

‘Beijing intimidating neighbours in South China Sea’

Singapore, June 2: China is deploying missiles in the disputed South China Sea to “intimidate and coerce” its neighbours, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said on Saturday, adding that Washington does not plan to abandon its role in the region. “Make no mistake: America is in the Indo-Pacific to stay. This is our priority theatre,” Mattis said in a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual gathering of security officials, contractors and academics in Singapore. Mattis called out Beijing’s militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea, home to some of the world’s busiest sea lanes. He told the security summit that Beijing had deployed military hardware including anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers to locations across the South China Sea. (IANS)