Chinese military action and building an artificial island in the disputed South China Sea is “illegal”, Secretary of State nominee of the incoming Trump Administration Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said, as he lashed out at Beijing on issues such as theft of intellectual property.”We should also acknowledge the realities about China.China’s island-building in the South China Sea is an illegal taking of disputed areas without regard for international norms,” Tillerson said in his confirmation hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “China’s economic and trade practices have not always followed its commitments to global agreements.
It steals our intellectual property, and is aggressive and expansionist in the digital realm,” he alleged. “It has not been a reliable partner in using its full influence to curb North Korea. China has proven a willingness to act with abandon in pursuit of its own goals, which at times has put it in conflict with America’s interests. We have to deal with what we see, not with what we hope,” he said.At the same time, he said the US need to see the positive dimensions in its relationship with China as well. The economic well-being of US and China is deeply intertwined, he noted.”China has been a valuable ally in curtailing elements of radical Islam. We should not let disagreements over other issues exclude areas for productive partnership,” he said.

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