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SE Asia walks tightrope amid sea spats with China

SE Asia walks tightrope amid sea spats with China

A series of flare-ups over the disputed South China Sea raises an age-old question for China's Southeast Asian neighbors: Is China a friend or foe?
The stakes appear to be rising. Both Vietnam and the Philippines accused Chinese ships of interfering with oil and gas exploration efforts this year. China acknowledges that incidents took place but says they were in its waters.
The confrontations are testing the ability of the smaller countries to maintain good relations with China while standing up to its territorial claims.
The sparring is over a slew of tiny islands. China claims a large swath of the South China Sea that overlaps with the exclusive economic zones of the Philippines and Vietnam.


Updated : 2021-05-12 22:20 GMT+08:00