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China is doing and piling of massive debt in Asia and Indo-Pacific region : James Mattis

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Washington. US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said that countries in Asia and Indo-Pacific region want America’s engagement because they are worried about the “massive piling” of Chinese debt, describing the country as one of the three threats to the world today.

The US would cooperate with China where it can and confront where it must like the freedom of navigation in international waters, he said at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) as reported by PTI.

“I just got back from Singapore, met with ASEAN, two weeks ago, where we are welcome, where many nations, in private, will tell us why they need us engaged out there because they’re concerned about what China is doing and the piling of massive debt,” Mattis said Tuesday.

“And then you see what happened in Sri Lanka, where they lost sovereignty over their own harbour. One of those issues, I’ll be talking, obviously, with my counterpart about here in Washington, shortly,” he said in response to a question on China, which he described as one of the three threats that the world faces today.

“‘How did we look at the threats in the world?’ he asked and said that the US looks at them from three different angles: power, urgency and will. We’re in a competition of sorts to maintain this world and turn it over, hopefully, in slightly better condition than we received it.

“In terms of raw power right now, I look at Russia and the nuclear arsenal they have. I look at their activities over the last 10 years from Georgia and Crimea to the Donets Basin, to Syria their violations of INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), for example. But in terms of just power, I think it’s clearly Russia that we have to look at and address,” Mattis said.

“China, on the other hand, seems to want some sort of tribute states around them. We are looking for how do we work with China,” Mattis added.

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