In a major shift in its policy towards China's maritime claims in the South-China Sea, the USA officially rejected almost all of the significant claims made by Beijing.
So far, the US had been insisting that the maritime disputes that China has with its smaller ASEAN neighbours be resolved amicably under the stewardship of UN.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement on Monday that said that the USA regards all Chinese maritime claims outside its internationally recognized waters to be illegitimate, a report by AP said.
Pompeo reportedly said, "The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire."
He added, "America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law.
"We stand with the international community in defense of freedom of the seas and respect for sovereignty and reject any push to impose 'might makes right' in the South China Sea or the wider region," Pompeo added.
This transition can be seen in the backdrop of rising hostility between USA and China.
It also comes in as China has suddenly grown all the more aggressive with respect to its cross-border claims.
It not only triggered a deadly conflict with India in Eastern Ladakh recently, the Asian giant has also sparked a controversy after claiming an area in Eastern Bhutan for the first time.
It has also introduced a new law in Hong Kong aimed at crushing many liberties that the people of Hong Kong were enjoying all these years.