Tensions heighten in South China Sea
By Peter Symonds
26 July 2012
Following the failure of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to agree on a final communiqué at its ministerial summit in mid-July, tensions over the South China Sea have continued to rise, in particular between China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
China announced over the weekend that a military garrison would be added to its recently established “city” of Sansha in the disputed Paracel Islands, provoking sharp criticism from Vietnam and the Philippines. The city of just over a thousand Chinese residents is designed as an administrative centre to bolster Beijing’s claims to the Paracel and Spratly groups, as well as the waters around them.