Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by the Counter Extremism Project — Ginsburg hospitalized after fall | 12 people killed in SoCal mass shooting | What Sessions’s ouster means for Russia probe | Why Trump thinks he won the midterms Incoming Foreign Affairs chairman plans investigation of Trump Organization The Hill’s Morning Report — Washington resets after midterms, Sessions fired MORE said Friday that the administration harbors significant, ongoing concerns over China’s military activity in the South China Sea.“I was clear … that we have continued concerns about China’s activities and militarization in the South China Sea. We pressed China to live up to its past commitments in this area,” Pompeo told reporters at a news conference following diplomatic talks with Chinese officials, as first reported by Reuters.Worries are growing over China’s construction of military facilities on man-made islands in the South China Sea, which U.S. officials view as violations of international law. U.S. allies fear that China’s expansion, seen as a means of growing its sphere of influence, poses a threat to their safety should a military conflict arise.Washington and Beijing have both recently conducted military exercises in the region to which several countries lay territorial claims.Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: What the midterms mean for defense panels | Pompeo cancels North Korea meeting | Trump eyes Kim summit in early 2019 | Pentagon drops name for border mission Sessions out at Justice Department Pentagon drops ‘Operation Faithful Patriot’ as name of military mission at border MORE met his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Singapore last month while attending a regional security conference and vowed to work with America’s allies to prevent China’s further militarization of the region.“I think that all of us joining hands together, [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] allies and partners, and we affirm as we do so that no single nation can rewrite the international rule to the road and expect all nations large and small to respect those rules,” Mattis later told reporters.“The United States, alongside our allies and partners, will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows and our national interests demand. We will not be intimidated, and we will not stand down, for we cannot accept the [People’s Republic of China] militarization of the South China Sea or any coercion in this region,” he added.
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