Analysis of Escalating Tensions

Here John Ruwitch, Reuter’s reporter, analyses some of the issues involved in China’s foreign policy and how these relate to the South China Sea dispute.

Analysis: As China’s clout grows, sea policy proves unfathomable

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Imagine if the U.S. state of Hawaii passed a law allowing harbor police to board and seize foreign boats operating up to 1,000 km (600 miles) from Honolulu.

That, in effect, is what happened in China about a week ago. The tropical province of Hainan, home to beachfront resorts and one of China’s largest naval bases, authorized a unit of the police to interdict foreign vessels operating “illegally” in the island’s waters, which, according to China, include much of the heavily disputed South China Sea.

At a time when the global community is looking to the world’s second-biggest economy and a burgeoning superpower for increasing maturity and leadership on the international stage, China’s opaque and disjointed foreign policy process is causing confusion and escalating tensions throughout its backyard.

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Source: Reuters, John Ruwitch.

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