Global Impact newsletter: escalating conflict in the South China Sea

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If you want to start a world war, a good way to do it is to mix the escalating conflict between two of the world’s greatest military powers with the grievances of a half-dozen smaller countries over territorial claims.

That’s the current situation in the South China Sea, the massive body of water that stretches more than 4,000km (2,485 miles) from mainland China in the north to Indonesia in the south – about the same distance between London and Chicago.
China has claimed the vast majority of the South China Sea as its exclusive territory, including areas claimed by six other governments – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam – that consider them part of their own exclusive economic zones. A map of the conflicting claims can be seen in this graphic presentation, while the history of China’s territorial disputes, including in the South China Sea, is explained in this video.

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