This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 14, 2020:
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo issued a statement on Monday directly and forcefully challenging China’s claims to most of the South China Sea:
Today we are strengthening U.S. policy in a vital, contentious part of that region — the South China Sea. We are making clear: 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….
Beijing uses intimidation to undermine the sovereign rights of Southeast Asian coastal states [the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam], bully them out of offshore resources, assert unilateral dominion, and replace international law with “might makes right.”
In 2009, the Communist Chinese unilaterally and arbitrarily drew a circle around what it considered its sovereign territory, a series of nine dashes on the map of the South China Sea extending from the Paracel Islands (about 200 miles due East of Da Nang, Vietnam), south to Malaysia, curving north to enclose the Spratley Islands and ending 50 miles offshore of Taiwan. The enormous waters see nearly $5 trillion worth of global trade passing through them every year.