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South China Sea

Malaysia says China's maritime claims have no legal basis

Country uses language similar to US and Australia over South China Sea

A helicopter takes off from the U.S. Navy's USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the South China Sea on July 17.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- In a letter to the United Nations, Malaysia has stated that China's maritime claims in the South China Sea have no legal basis, potentially signaling that Kuala Lumpur is hardening its stance.

In a note verbale dated Wednesday, the Malaysian mission to the U.N. wrote to Secretary General Antonio Guterres that it "rejects China's claims to historic rights, or other sovereign rights or jurisdiction, with respect to the maritime areas of the South China Sea encompassed by the relevant part of the 'nine-dash line.'"

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