I think keep going, don't just speak up but act, Pompeo told top diplomats from the 10-nation bloc, without elaborating. A State Department spokeswoman said he pressed for a peaceful resolution of the disputes.
Don't let the Chinese Communist Party walk over us and our people. You should have confidence and the American will be here in friendship to help you, he said.
China does not respect democratic values and principles of sovereignty, quality and territorial integrity enshrined in the ASEAN charter, Pompeo said. He cited the U.S. blacklisting of Chinese companies for their roles in constructing islands in the disputed waters that infringe on other states' claims.
The US has deployed warships and fighter jets for what it calls freedom of navigation and overflight patrols.
There was no immediate comment from China or its foreign minister, Wang Yi, who was participating in the ASEAN meetings and separately met the group's ministers Wednesday. China has insisted it has right to safeguard its national interests and accuses Washington of interfering in regional affairs.
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, whose country is hosting ASEAN meetings this year, warmed up to Pompeo's remarks, saying the ASEAN-U.S. relationship has brought about mutual benefit to both sides. The U.S. role and contribution to maintaining peace, stability and security in the region are encouraged, he said.
ASEAN, founded in 1967, has struggled to stay away from the escalating rivalry between Washington and Beijing. It has often asserted its centrality and regional leadership although some critics dismiss the group as a talk shop that is often vulnerable to the sway of world powers.
Depending on how ASEAN deals with issues, they can either result in disaster or a new dawn of peace and stability for our region, Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told colleagues on Tuesday.
The challenge here is leadership do we lead or do we follow? he asked. Make no mistake Southeast Asia intends to remain the master of its own destiny.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.