Affairs

Politics

Defence Briefing— Global

Preface

Squabbling over islands in the South China Sea, shopping for warships with Algeria, and boosting the Bangladeshi military.

Bangladesh, DRC, Dream project, Germany, South China Sea, Algeria, Tokyo

On the rocks

South China Sea [LAND DISPUTE]

The South China Sea is peppered with disputed islands: China claims most of them. Some have value as fishing grounds or sources of energy deposits; others have only symbolic importance. For all their remoteness, competition for these tiny islands is intensifying. “The South China Sea is like a bathtub that’s being filled up by Chinese control vessels and other countries’ patrol vessels and submarines,” explains Carlyle Thayer, a professor at the Australian Defence Forces Academy.

Beijing usually has mili…

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