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Pompeo Tells Southeast Asia to Stand up to China; Shun Its Firms

2020-09-12 14:33
On September 10, the United States’ top diplomat urged Southeast Asian countries to stand up to maritime bullying by China and to reassess business deals with its state firms, adding to heated exchanges between two powers jostling for influence. Speaking remotely to foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the region should be confident in the United States and know it can bank on its support. ASEAN has said it does not want to take sides amid friction over a recent spike in military activities by both powers in the South China Sea and ahead of a November election in which U.S. President Donald Trump will tout his tough stand against China.