What did Mr Pompeo say?
In a statement on Monday, Mr Pompeo denounced China’s claims on the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, saying Beijing had “no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region”.
He said the US, which has previously said it does not take sides in territorial disputes, rejected Beijing’s claims to waters off Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
“Any [People’s Republic of China] action to harass other states’ fishing or hydrocarbon development in these waters – or to carry out such activities unilaterally – is unlawful,” he said.
“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire.”
…Four years after an international tribunal in The Hague ruled that China’s claims in the region had no legal basis, the US has for the first time officially made its stance clear…