‘It’s not China’s maritime empire.”
Those were the words from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a rebuke of China’s actions and claims in the South China Sea.
From the Associated Press:
“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” Pompeo said. “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. We stand with the international community in defense of freedom of the seas and respect for sovereignty and reject any push to impose ‘might makes right’ in the South China Sea or the wider region.”
Although the U.S. will continue to remain neutral in territorial disputes, the announcement means the administration is in effect siding with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, all of which oppose Chinese assertions of sovereignty over maritime areas surrounding contested islands, reefs and shoals.
“There are clear cases where (China) is claiming sovereignty over areas that no country can lawfully claim,” the State Department said in a fact sheet that accompanied the statement.
In a statement Monday night from its embassy in Washington, China accused the State Department of “deliberately distorting the facts and international law.” It added that the U.S. “exaggerates the situation in the region and attempts to sow discord between China and other littoral countries. The accusation is completely unjustified. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to it.”
President Trump has attempted to navigate the balance between enforcer and partner when it comes to China, a task not easy for any president. China wields extraordinary power, both financially and militarily, but at the same time are an oppressive communist regime that frequently targets Christians and other religious minorities.
Faithwire has documented several of their abuses. Here are a just a few:
See more HERE.