US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accuses Beijing of creating debt traps and energy blocks in wide-ranging spray
Almaty. March 13. KazTAG - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused China of blocking energy development in the South China Sea through “coercive means”, preventing Southeast Asian countries from accessing more than US$2.5 trillion in recoverable energy reserves, reports South China Monitor.
Addressing top executives from energy companies and oil ministers in Houston, Texas, Pompeo criticised “China’s illegal island building in international waterways”, insisting that it was not “simply a security matter”.
“By blocking energy development in the South China Sea to coerce, it means China prevents Asean members from accessing more than 2½ trillion in recoverable energy resources,” he said on Tuesday.
“To contrast, the United States government promotes energy security for those Southeast Asian nations. We want countries in the region to have access to their own energy.”
Pompeo’s remarks were the latest in a recent series of comments in which he has ramped up his laser-focused criticism of China. Last week, in Iowa, he said projects under China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” for infrastructure were “almost certainly designed for foreclosure”.
In a meeting with Iowa farmers affected by the US trade war with China, Pompeo also accused China of stealing sensitive technology “essential to farming”, citing two cases involving genetically modified rice and corn seeds.
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