Pompeo: US to make sure China can’t blockade South China Sea
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States is committed to ensuring the South China Sea remains open to all kinds of navigation and that “China does not pose a threat” of closing the busy sea lanes.
Pompeo assured the Philippines during his visit to Manila on Friday that America will come to its defense if its forces, aircraft or ships come under armed attack in the South China Sea. His comments were an attempt to address local concerns over the vagueness of the allies’ 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. says the Philippines feels confident, citing U.S. assurances that, “We have your back.”
Pompeo says he raised the importance of human rights, a touchy subject amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal anti-drug crackdown.