China policy battles boost South China Sea strains

By REUTERS
April 23, 2012 07:14

 
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BEIJING - Jockeying by Chinese agencies over policy fiefdoms and budgets threatens to intensify tensions with China's neighbors over the disputed South China Sea, a respected think tank said on Monday, with China's military also warning of regional confrontation.

Weak coordination among the various Chinese government bodies responsible for South China Sea policy has also complicated China's attempt at a peaceful rise, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report.

China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan across the South China Sea.

Its neighbors worry over what some see as growing Chinese assertiveness in staking claims over the seas and its various islands, reefs and shoals.

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