China must refrain from aggressive actions in the South China Sea region, including the placement of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, warning that militarization will have “consequences”.
“China must not pursue militarization in the South China Sea,” Carter said in a speech in San Francisco on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
“Specific actions will have specific consequences,” the US official was quoted as saying.
Carter reiterated the US military’s determination to safeguard maritime security around the world, particularly in the South China Sea region, which sees about 30 percent of the world’s trade transit its waters each year, the report said.
In other comments, Carter criticized Russia and China for their actions to limit Internet access, as well as state-sponsored cyber threats, cyber espionage and cyber crime.
“We don’t desire conflict with either country,” the US defense chief said. “But we also cannot blind ourselves to their apparent goals and actions.”
He urged cooperation with US technology companies to ensure data security and necessary encryption levels.
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