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International relations

US urges legal action to counter Beijing in South China Sea

Washington takes swipe at Belt and Road with new infrastructure initiative

A drilling rig and supply vessels operate in the South China Sea off the coast of Vung Tau, Vietnam.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser on Monday called on countries intimidated by Beijing in the South China Sea to seek arbitration, as Washington put pressure on China at one of Asia's largest diplomatic gatherings.

Robert O'Brien, who represented Trump during the ASEAN Summit and related meetings, also announced an initiative aimed at countering China's Belt and Road infrastructure program -- the latest move in the deepening rivalry between the U.S. and China in the region.

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