The Biden administration on Sunday upheld a Trump-era rejection of nearly all of China’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea.

The administration also warned China that any attack on the Philippines in the flashpoint region would draw a U.S. response under a mutual defense treaty.

According AP News the stern message from Secretary of State Antony Blinken came in a statement released ahead of this week’s fifth anniversary of an international tribunal’s ruling in favor of the Philippines, against China’s maritime claims around the Spratly Islands and neighboring reefs and shoals.

China rejects the ruling.

South China Sea

Ahead of the fourth anniversary of the ruling last year, the Trump administration came out in favor of the ruling but also said it regarded as illegitimate virtually all Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea outside China’s internationally recognized waters.

Sunday’s statement reaffirms that position, which had been laid out by Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

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