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Jul 26, 2020 / 11:28

“South China Sea is not China’s maritime empire”: Mike Pompeo

Pompeo's wording indicates Washington's hard stance on China's maritime claims over South China Sea.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reiterated the United States' “crystal clear” policy that the South China Sea is not China’s maritime empire and urged disputes in this sea to be resolved through international law.

 A screenshot of Pompeo's tweet on July 25

“If Beijing violates international law and free nations do nothing, history shows the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] will simply take more territory. China Sea disputes must be resolved through international law,” Pompeo wrote in a tweet on July 25.

The tweet lengthens a string of the US Department of State’s statements on the resources-rich South China Sea, through which more than US$5 trillion worth of goods transits each year.

On July 13, Pompeo stated that “Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.”

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law,” he added.

The Pentagon earlier this month protested China's military drills around the Paracel on July 1-5. US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has tweeted “Freedom of navigation is an important principle--since its inception, the US Navy has faithfully protected that principle.”

Washington’s words are accompanied with deeds. The US Navy sent two aircraft carriers, the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, for exercises in the South China Sea on July 16-17.