The world’s two most powerful countries are involved in an escalating dispute over territory in the South China Sea.
China has nearly finished developing artificial islands in an area the US-allied Philippines has also claimed.
It is feared the new islands will be used as military and naval bases to intimidate other countries and dominate the oil-rich region — which also happens to be one of the world’s most important commercial waterways.
China says it has sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, and has no hostile intent. Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have claims in the South China Sea.