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U.S. Shift in South China Sea Raises Risk of Clash on the Water

  • China may assert itself more, increasing chance of accident
  • U.S. aligns with 2016 tribunal ruling rejecting China’s claims
Bloomberg business news
U.S. Rejects Beijing’s South China Sea Claims
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The Trump administration’s move to brand most of Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea a violation of international law doesn’t mean much on its own: China has repeatedly refused to acknowledge the 2016 tribunal ruling that the U.S. finally just endorsed.

But analysts say they fear it could lead to a miscalculation at sea if it prompts the Communist Party to more aggressively assert its claims, both to rebuff the U.S. and to deter other claimants in Southeast Asia from taking action. China’s campaign to build and later militarize artificial structures intensified after the Obama administration announced a “pivot” to Asia in 2011.