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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Paracel Islands
The Paracel Islands consist of over 30 islets, sandbanks or reefs, occupy about 15,000 km2 of the ocean surface, and located in the South China Sea. Turtles live on the islands, and seabirds have left nests and guano deposits, but there are no permanent human residents except for a small number of troops. The archipelago is approximately equidistant from the coastlines of Vietnam and China, and about one-third of the way from central Vietnam to the northern Philippines. - Source: Wikipedia
China's furtive, incremental encroachments into neighboring countries' borderlands have emerged as a key destabilizing element in Asia.
The ongoing South China Sea dispute demands swift U.S. action to avoid becoming a 21st century Munich ("ASEAN seeks China talks on sea dispute," Web, Sunday).
China's government said Thursday that it had approved a provincial proposal to build a supply dock in the South China Sea, where Beijing is beefing up its claims of sovereignty amid territorial disputes with five other governments.
The Philippines and Vietnam each received warships Tuesday to beef up their navies as they face tensions with China about disputed islands, raising the prospect of an escalating arms race in the South China Sea.
China recently has stepped up its flexing of big-power muscles on several fronts as Southeast Asian states challenge Beijing's sweeping claims of sovereignty over the resource-rich South China Sea.
China is expanding its naval surveillance fleet to better protect its maritime rights, state media reported Thursday amid bitter deep-sea territorial disputes with neighboring nations.
The United States and Vietnam demonstrated their blossoming military relations Sunday as a U.S. nuclear supercarrier cruised in waters off the Southeast Asian nation's coast — sending a message that China is not the region's only big player.