According to the officials, The US has accused China of blocking the ASEAN members accessing more than USD 2.5 trillion in recoverable energy reserves in the South China Sea by illegal construction activities.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims over the area.
Pompeo said in his address at CERAWeek in Houston Tuesday night, “China’s illegal island-building in international waterways is not simply a security matter. By blocking development in the South China Sea through coercive means, China prevents the ASEAN members from accessing more than USD 2.5 trillion in recoverable energy reserves."
"We want countries in the region to have access to their own energy. We want to help them. We want to create partnerships. We want transparent transactions, not debt traps. We explore responsibly," he said.
Pompeo then urged the oil industry to work with Washington to promote the American model, and to punish what he called “bad actors”.
“We need to roll up our sleeves and compete by facilitating investments all across the world and encouraging partners to buy from us, and by punishing the bad actors,” he urged.