10 May 2014
The escalating stand-offs between China and Vietnam, and between Beijing and Manila, will push Southeast Asian nations to build up their maritime capabilities, resulting in heightened tensions in the South China Sea, observers say.
The nations were also likely to embrace a stronger United States presence in the region to Beijing’s dismay, they said, pointing to a drill held this week by the US and the Philippines on unexpected marine encounters.
Long-running tensions between China and Vietnam rose last Saturday when Beijing announced drilling for oil in the disputed Paracel Islands.
… “The posture of China is confusing. It says that it wants to maintain a good relationship with its neighbours, but it is also deliberately getting more assertive,” said Dr Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
IDSS / RSIS / Print
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