China intimidates half of Asia with fortresses in the sea

The dispute goes well beyond the Spratly Islands. China claims around 80 percent of the 3.5 million square meter South China Sea. While the Spratly Islands lie to the south, further north are the 130 coral islands called Paracel, which Vietnam also claims. In the East China Sea, China is fighting with Japan over the islands, called Diaoyu in Chinese or Senkaku in Japanese, 200 kilometers north-east of Taiwan. The dispute over the rocky islands flared up again in 2012 when Japan’s government bought three islands from private hands. In late 2013, China imposed an air defense zone over the East China Sea.

Assistance: Jannik Deters

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