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China makes a big move in the South China Sea

The Philippines on Monday demanded China withdraw a massive fishing fleet — presumably commanded by the Chinese navy — from waters that Manila has exclusive economic rights over in the South China Sea. Beijing, unsurprisingly, denied any involvement. But there's more to the latest milestone in China's increasingly aggressive strategy to assert its claims in one of the world's most disputed waterways.

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US now rejects Beijing’s South China Sea claims. So what?

For decades, Beijing has laid claim to vast swaths of the South China Sea, over the objections of its neighbors and even international courts. And until two days ago, the United States had avoided taking a strong stance on the question. Not anymore.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that the US now supports a 2016 international ruling that explicitly rejects China's sovereignty claims over the sea.

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