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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday urged Southeast Asian countries to review their ties to Chinese state-owned companies and stand up to Beijing’s bullying in the South China Sea.
“Don’t just speak up, but act,” Pompeo said in a virtual address to the summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“Reconsider business dealings with the very state-owned companies that bully ASEAN coastal states in the South China Sea. Don’t let the Chinese Communist Party walk over us and our people.”
The US has pushed back at China’s territorial claims in the disputed waterway by slapping sanctions last month on 24 Chinese companies for their roles in helping to build artificial islands in the South China Sea.