The United States will use all available tools to support countries that believe China has violated their sovereignty in the South China Sea, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday. Pompeo’s statement amps up the pitch against China’s effort to push the envelope and its territory in the South China Sea region.
Pompeo said the US will support these countries but stressed this would be done in multilateral and legal forums.
“We will then go use the tools that we have available and we will support countries all across the world who recognize that China has violated their legal territorial claims as well – or maritime claims as well,” Pompeo told reporters, according to news agency Reuters.
“We will go provide them the assistance we can, whether that’s in multilateral bodies, whether that’s in ASEAN, whether that’s through legal responses, we will use all the tools we can,” he said, referring to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Pompeo, who had last week spoken about building a coalition against China, indicated the plan was on track. He announced a “quick trip” to the United Kingdom and Denmark on Monday next. I’m sure that the Chinese Communist Party and its threat to free peoples around the world will be high on top of that agenda,” Pompeo told a news conference.
Pompeo also welcomed London’s ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei and announced that the US would impose visa restrictions on some workers for Huawei Technologies Corp, continuing the Trump administration’s efforts to bar Huawei’s technology on the grounds that the Chinese technology company could be used by the government in Beijing as a back door for spying. Huawei has said it operates independently.