Beijing — It is typhoon season in the South China Sea. But more dangerous than the physical winds tearing down homes and trees is a brewing political storm that threatens the peace in one of the world’s most strategic flash points.
Over the past several months China has set itself on a collision course with its Southeast Asian neighbors, taking a series of forceful steps to assert territorial claims over potentially valuable rocks, reefs, and waters that other nations claim, too.
Some of them, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, are alarmed enough to have voiced their anger publicly. Others, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, have been more cautious.