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China's Defense Ministry on Thursday said it hoped for continued exchanges with the USA military despite being disinvited from a major us -sponsored naval exercise this summer. He is also the head of the Chinese delegation to the dialogue, which opened in Singapore on Friday and runs through Sunday.

China's militarization of the South China Sea was also a focal point of the meeting.

Thanks to the efforts by leaders of both countries, bilateral ties continue to develop in a friendly manner, said the Chinese military official, including relations between both militaries.

Backing the remarks by his defense secretary, President Donald Trump said on Twitter, "Very surprised that China would be doing this?"

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reiterated this stance on Saturday at the Singapore meeting, saying that the placement of weapons on South China Sea islands "is tied directly to military use for the goal of intimidation and coercion".

At least five French warships sailed through the South China Sea previous year, according to the French defence minister.

This month, China's air force landed bombers on disputed islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise.

"Currently so far it's a so-called new normal", Lin Chong-pin, retired strategic studies professor in Taiwan, said of the US ship movement.

An editorial in the state-run Global Times newspaper said the tension in the South China Sea was "due to the U.S. continuing to increase its military presence in the region, forcing China to naturally upgrade its defensive weapons on the islands".

He also blasted Chinese President Xi Jinping for reneging on a 2015 promise made at the White House that Beijing would not militarise the island features in the South China Sea.

Beijing's actions have caused the U.S.to reconsider its "cooperative stance", including rescinding an invitation to the world's largest naval exercises this month, Mattis told delegates at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

Beijing's activities are "in stark contrast to the openness of what our strategy promotes; it calls into question China's broader goals", Mattis told a packed house of worldwide military officials, senior global lawmakers, experts and others on Saturday. Neighboring nations fear China will use the facilities to reach further militarily and potentially restrict navigation.

The previous week the USA had withdrawn an invitation for Beijing to participate in the exercise known as Rim of the Pacific.

"If the USA will continue to pursue a constructive results-oriented relationship with China, cooperation, whenever possible, will be the name of the game, and competing vigorously where we must".

It is believed to be the first time where two United States warships have been used for a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea. He Lei said violation of China's sovereignty will not be allowed, and Senior Col. Zhou Bo of Beijing's defense ministry said the limit is 12 nautical miles from Chinese-controlled isles and reefs, including the disputed Spratly and Paracel Islands.

"Our objective remains the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

Royal Navy frigates HMS Sutherland and HMS Argyll and amphibious assault HMS Albion are being deployed to "send a clear message" to China and North Korea, Williamson said.