The China Problem

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out China’s claims in the South China Sea this week, saying they are “completely unlawful.”   It was a distinctive public show of US support for a 2016 ruling by The Hague that found China’s actions in the South China Sea were in violation of international law.

Pompeo’s statement is the latest in a coordinated government effort to call China out on a number of issues. Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray made strong public statements about China’s continuing theft of intellectual property and what he calls, “economic espionage.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper recently announced China as one of the US’ top strategic competitors and shared details on the US military’s renewed focus on Beijing’s activities. Earlier this month, the Pentagon sent two aircraft carriers accompanied by warships, to the South China Sea as China conducted military exercises.

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