Washington’s hardened position on Beijing’s claims in South China Sea heightens US-China tensions

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an online statement on July 13, 2020, in which he shared Washington’s hardened position on the South China Sea. He rejected most of Beijing’s claims within the so-called nine-dash line that encompasses 90 per cent of the strategic area. China’s foreign ministry hit back on July 14, calling the US challenge “groundless” and an effort to sow discord. Tension between the two superpowers had already been on the rise over trade, Covid-19 and human rights issues.

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