China, U.S. tensions increase over disputed islands
Chinese officials on Friday threatened “serious consequences” over recent United States naval maneuvers around the disputed Paracel Islands. The U.S. Navy on Friday sailed a destroyer around the islands in the South China Sea for the second day in a row, a move China officials said threatened China’s sovereignty and security. Beijing said the Chinese military forced the American ship away from the islands yesterday, but the United States denied the claim and has maintained that the operations are in line with international law.
What factors have contributed to growing tensions in the area? The United States has recently strengthened alliances in the Asia-Pacific region in an attempt to counter increased Chinese assertiveness. China, meanwhile, has sought to expand territorial claims in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. Beijing has occupied the Paracel Islands since 1974, but Vietnam and Taiwan also claim them as their territory.
Dig deeper: Listen to Cal Thomas’ report on The World and Everything in It podcast about the dangers of China’s aggressive agenda.
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