US to use all tools available to assist nations in protecting valid legal claims

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The United States is prepared to do things necessary and to use all tools available to assist countries in protecting valid legal claim, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a press briefing on July 15.

“After extensive legal review, the State Department for the first time made clear what we believe the law reflects.  This is how the United States operates all across the world,” Pompeo said.

“And so we set down very clearly the markers that says these are the – these are the legal requirements.  So 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, and we’ll 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 use all the tools we can,” he added.

“I think things have shifted dramatically in the region.  I think you’re seeing countries all throughout Asia, and indeed in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific, recognizing that the United States is prepared to do the things necessary to assist them in protecting their valid legal claims,” he said.

“The statement we made on Monday, I think, was very, very important in not only demarcating the United States position, but making clear that we’ll support other nations of the region that do a similar thing with respect to protecting their capacity to preserve the maritime boundaries that their people are entitled to,” Secretary Pompeo said.