M.E. MEDIA POST, LLC – “The document, a series of written responses to questions by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin during Tillerson’s confirmation hearing last month before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee”
Analysts said such a move in the contentious waterway would be tantamount to an act of war.
“China cannot be allowed to use its artificial islands to coerce its neighbors or limit freedom of navigation or overflight in the South China Sea,” Tillerson wrote in response to the questions about China’s island-building program. “The United States will uphold freedom of navigation and overflight by continuing to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows.”
In the new document, Tillerson, who was confirmed by the Senate in a 56-43 vote on Feb. 1, also voiced the need for the United States and its allies to be able to prevent Chinese access to the islets in the event of a “contingency.”
“If a contingency occurs, the United States and its allies and partners must be capable of limiting China’s access to and use of its artificial islands to pose a threat to the United States or its allies and partners,” he wrote.
Read Full Hearing buffer-zone-congressional-record-feb-2-2017.