• US refuses China’s maritime empire in the south china sea
• Islands and waters in the south china sea are claimed by several owners
• Pompeo’s announcement “is completely unjustified”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced a formal rejection of “most” of China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea, the latest in the escalation between Washington and Beijing.
US rejects China’s maritime empire in the south china sea
Describing the move as “strengthening U.S. policy,” the top US diplomat asserted 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 it is 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,” Pompeo said in a lengthy statement. Beijing claims almost all of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as it’s sovereign territory and over the past several years has built up military fortifications on several islands.
But specific islands and waters in the South China Sea are claimed by several states and islands that surround it, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and self-governing Taiwan.
Several states are claiming ownership of the island and waters in South China
Beijing has impeded commercial activity like fishing or mineral exploration by some of those countries as it stakes ownership of territory it claims has belonged to China for hundreds of years.
Late Monday, the Chinese Embassy in Washington had harsh words for Pompeo’s announcement, calling the accusations “completely unjustified.”
Pompeo’s announcement “is totally unacceptable”
The US “distorts the facts and international law … , exaggerates the situation in the region and attempts to sow discord between China and other littoral countries,” the Chinese Embassy said in a statement.
China also accused Washington of “stirring up tension and inciting confrontation” in a region where it is not directly involved in the disputes.
Pompeo’s move Monday is “pretty significant,” said Gregory Poling, a senior fellow for Southeast Asia and director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.