Key Words: Mattis accuses China of ‘intimidation and coercion’ in region

‘Make no mistake: America is in the Indo-Pacific to stay. This is our priority theater.’

—U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis

James Mattis accused China of “intimidation and coercion” in the Indo-Pacific and said the U.S. has no plans to abandon its role in the region.

The U.S. Defense secretary made the remarks during a speech to Asian leadership Saturday in Singapore, CNN and other news outlets reported.

Mattis specifically called out Beijing’s militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea, home to some of the world’s busiest cargo lanes.

“We are aware China will face an array of challenges and opportunities in coming years, we are prepared to support China’s choices if they promote long-term peace and prosperity for all in this dynamic region,” Mattis said, according to the reports.

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