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A Primer on the Escalating Tensions in the South China Sea

The South China Sea is one of the world’s most strategically vital maritime zones where more than $5 trillion of trade passes through each year — a whopping 60% of the globe’s total maritime commerce. It’s also the epicenter of an increasingly contentious geopolitical dispute among more than half a dozen countries over territorial boundaries and who ultimately controls this enormous body of water.

Chinese sovereignty claims over the whole of the South China Sea have provoked furious responses from its regional neighbors and sparked a dangerous duel with the U.S. and other major navies over continued freedom of navigation through the area.

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The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


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