08:26 GMT25 October 2020
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     WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Asia on Tuesday called on Washington's allies in the region to build deeper collaboration and be more "forceful" toward China in response to the country's military operations in the South China Sea.

    “Weakness provokes bullies, that is appeasement rewards those who act in ways that are coercive and use military might as opposed to diplomatic tools to resolve conflict,” Pompeo told NHK in an interview in Tokyo when asked about China's recent military operations in the South China Sea.

    “The answer to that is to be forceful in our response, to be direct about our expectations, and to work with like-minded nations all across the world to oppose those who want to use military power or coercion."

    USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), as USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in the South China Sea
    © AP Photo / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha Jetzer
    Earlier this day, Pompeo met in Tokyo with Japan's Prime Minister Suga and other senior officials before joining a meeting of the so-called Quad countries - the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprising the US, India, Japan and Australia.

    China claims the South China Sea as sovereign territory and has built military bases on artificial islands. The United States views the sea as an international waterway and routinely defies China with patrols by US and allied warships in the so-called freedom of navigation exercises.

    Tags:
    military operations, China, allies, Japan, U.S
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