The Secretary of State condemned the territorial claims of China in this region as “illegal”.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that Washington will find new ways to cooperate with Indonesia in the South China Sea and respects Jakarta’s efforts to protect its waters while rejecting China’s “illegal claims” in the area.
Pompeo’s visit to Indonesia is part of his tour of five Asian countries, where he tries to strengthen strategic and economic ties amid growing tensions between the U.S. and China.
In a joint press conference with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi Pompeo praised Jakarta’s “decisive action” to defend its sovereignty in the waters near the Natuna Islands, which are also claimed by China.
Pompeo called China’s claims “illegal.
“I look forward to new ways of working together to ensure that maritime security measures protect some of the busiest trade routes in the world,” Pompeo said at a press conference after his meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister.
Retno said she wants a “stable and peaceful” South China Sea that respects international law.