The recent hardening of America's position on the South China Sea (SCS) has given new momentum to geopolitical contestation in the strategic waterway. The US statement on July 13 is significant for Washington's rejection of Beijing's maritime claims as unlawful, after having declined for years to take a position on competing sovereignty claims.
The new willingness by the United States to challenge China on SCS disputes will affect the calculations of not only South-east Asian states involved in territorial disputes with China but also those of other non-claimant countries as well, including India.
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