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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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