BBC Online : China's pursuit of offshore resources in parts of the South China Sea is "completely unlawful", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. He condemned Beijing's "campaign of bullying to control" disputed waters that are potentially energy-rich. China, which has been building military bases on artificial islands in the area for years, said the US "deliberately distorts facts and international law". The US has long opposed China's actions but not called them illegal until now. Mr Pompeo's comments come amid worsening relations between China and a number of other countries. It is unclear what new actions, if any, the US might take to back up its stance. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam contest China's claim to almost all of the South China Sea. The countries have wrangled over territory for decades but tension has steadily increased in recent years.
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