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Al Jazeera English | Mar 27
Military tension is rising in Asia, and not just on the Korean peninsula. A Chinese naval task force has reached the southernmost part of the South...
And now, an update on the latest developments in the South China Sea dispute. As we reported a few weeks ago, tensions have been escalating between China and some of its smaller neighbors over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. At stake are valuable fishing grounds, potential oil and gas deposits, national pride, and access to critical trade routes.
The growing dispute has even brought in the United States, which maintains that China is bullying countries like Vietnam and the Philippines. The pressure went up a notch recently when the U.S. Navy conducted joint military exercises with the Philippine Navy. And now, it’s planning an operation with Vietnam. Needless to say, the Chinese government isn’t happy. Admiral Mike Mullen, the outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told his counterpart in Beijing earlier this week the U.S. was within its rights.
Admiral Mike Mullen:
The United States has had a presence in the Asia Pacific region for decades. We have exercised with our allies and our friends in this part of the world for decades and we will continue to do that. General Chen Bingde: While the United States has repeated that it does not plan to get involved in the South China Sea dispute, its behavior has given the opposite signal. Despite having conducted military exercises with the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea in the past, holding these military drills at this moment is extremely inappropriate.