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US imposes sanctions on officials over militarisation of South China Sea

In a tweet, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “The U.S. is taking action to support freedom of the seas and to oppose coercion of our Southeast Asian allies and partners. We must not allow Beijing’s campaign of bullying to prevent access to vital offshore resources and damage critical ecosystems.”

At the same time, the Commerce Department also added 24 state-owned Chinese enterprises, including subsidiaries of the China Communications Construction Company, to its commercial blacklist for their roles in constructing artificial islands causing major environmental damage. 

The move is the latest action in the US pressure campaign against China that has picked up steam ahead of November’s presidential election over a variety of contentious issues.

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