US says most of China's claims in South China Sea are illegal
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that China's expansive maritime claims across of the South China Sea were "completely unlawful," setting up potential military confrontations with Beijing and sanctions against companies as the United States seeks to push back Chinese activity in the region. Pompeo said China’s yearslong “campaign of bullying to control” offshore resources across much of the area was illegal. The announcement was the strongest and most explicit support by Washington of a ruling in 2016 by an international tribunal at The Hague that China had violated international law with its actions. Pompeo’s announcement aligns U.S. policy directly with that ruling and puts Washington in a position to enforce the tribunal’s decision, even though China has rejected it. The statement is not explicit on U.S. military aid, but leaves open the possibility that the United States might come to the defense of nations like Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines if clashes erupt because of Chinese aggression. The United States has a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines.
Wong, E., & Crowley, M. (2020, July 15). US says most of China's claims in South China Sea are illegal. BusinessWorld, p. S1/10.
- BusinessWorld