The United States warned China on Wednesday against taking "additional provocative actions" following an impending international court ruling on the South China Sea that is expected to largely reject Beijing's broad territorial claims.
A senior State Department official voiced skepticism at China's claim that dozens of countries backed its position in a case the Philippines has brought against Beijing and vowed that Washington would uphold U.S. defense commitments.
Colin Willett, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Washington had "a lot of options" to respond to any such Chinese moves in a region she said was vital to U.S. interests. She also made clear that with a ruling expected possibly within weeks, the United States was working to rally sometimes wavering allies and partners in the region to ensure a unified front.
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