China Ups the Stakes in the South China Sea Dispute

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The Chinese regime has escalated the stakes in the South China Sea dispute. Despite a positive spin from the Indonesian Foreign Minister at the ASEAN Summit last Friday a resolution to the conflict has not been reached.

Chinese authorities say the Paracel and Spratly chain of islands and ownership of the surrounding seas are at the root of the conflict.

The White House meanwhile is urging for a regional code of conduct to prevent or resolve clashes. The Chinese regime has not welcomed the US input and says it's "meddling" in the region. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, replied by saying (quote) "the US is a resident Pacific power."

The Chinese regime has put more pressure by establishing a military garrison in its contentious newly created city of Sansha. Sansha has been established on "Woody Island" a part of the Spratley and Paracel group.

Reuters reports Chinese State media saying the Sansha garrison is responsible for "national defense mobilization... guarding the city and supporting local emergency rescue and disaster relief" and "carrying out military missions."

That action appears to be in conflict with China's pledge to work with ASEAN to safeguard regional peace.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and China all claim ownership of the region's Islands and territorial waters.

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