| State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus at a press conference in Washington DC on June 10, 2019. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in press statement on Saturday that China's reclamation and militarization of disputed outposts in the East Sea, including its use of maritime militia to intimidate, coerce, and threaten other countries, undermine the peace and security of the region. She cited a comment by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this year that China, by blocking development in the East Sea through coercive measures, is preventing ASEAN members from accessing more than 2.5 trillion USD in recoverable energy reserves. The US State Department said China’s actions threaten regional security and interfere with oil and gas activities in the East Sea, including Vietnam’s long-standing exploration and production.