U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that U.S. will work with its allies, including South Korea, to reassert the rule of law in the South China Sea, where Beijing has been pressing its claims.
His remarks come after he and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper had a two-day discussion with their Australian counterparts in Washington.
"We'll keep working with our Australian partners to reassert the rule of law in the South China Sea which the United States and Australia have both underscored in recent important statements."
The joint statement released by the two sides reaffirms that the Indo-Pacific region is the focus of the alliance, and that the U.S. and Australia are working side-by-side, along with ASEAN, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States' Five Eyes partners.
The Secretary of State also praised Australia's efforts to stand up for democratic values, despite pressure from China.
Australia agreed on the need to uphold "rule-based global order", but also made clear the country has no intention of damaging its relationship between China.
Amid the escalating tensions between the U.S. and China, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday accused the U.S. of "reckless provocation of confrontation".
Speaking to his British counterpart over the phone, he also called for "rational communication" between the two superpowers.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.