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Trump, Tillerson and the South China Sea: What's at stake

(CNN) -- Rex Tillerson, who was sworn in as US Secretary of State Wednesday, takes responsibility for US policy in one of the world's biggest flashpoints: the South China Sea.

President Donald Trump says the former Exxon CEO will bring "a clear-eyed focus to foreign affairs."

He'll need it.

The contested waters are a crucial shipping route and home a messy territorial dispute that pits multiple countries against each other.

Tensions have ratcheted up since 2014 as Ch

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