Territorial disputes are threatening to spark deadly clashes that could have worldwide repercussions between China and some or all of its neighbors in the South China Sea – Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.
China has deployed a powerful force of civilian, paramilitary and naval vessels to back up its disputed claims to about 80% of the waters and seabed of the South China Sea, including hundreds of tiny islands and reefs scattered across thousands of miles.
While it has little or no basis in international maritime law for its claims, China has become increasingly assertive because of its growing military power and fast-growing demand for the abundant supplies of oil, natural gas and fish in the South China Sea.
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This op ed first appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, April 4, 2013
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