U.S. to back nations whose South China Sea claims China violated

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, US on July 8, 2020. (REUTERS File Photo)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, US on July 8, 2020. (REUTERS File Photo)

WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters): The United States will support countries that believe China has violated their maritime claims in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday but stressed doing so 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. "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).