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High-Stakes-in-the-South-China-Sea

High Stakes in the South China Sea

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrand,

July 30, 2012

Coverage of the South China Sea territorial dispute has tended to paint the story as that of a giant China flexing its muscle over a handful of smaller Southeast Asian states. But while China’s increasingly assertive behavior shows its willingness to exploit the weaknesses of other claimants, the picture is not as simple as is it is often portrayed. Vietnam and the Philippines are pushing back against China, and many countries are stoking tensions in the sea. Together, their actions leave plenty of room for open conflict to break out.

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