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by Jessica Yu
While presidential elections and Pokemon Go make headlines
in the Western Hemisphere, a hostile sea dispute across the globe
in Southeast Asia has raised growing concern in the Eastern
Hemisphere. In recent days, tension has immensely increased
among several Asian countries over the islands and waters near
Indonesia and the Philippines. Countries such as China, Taiwan,
Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines, and Malaysia have all made
claims over these islands using history and evidence to justify
their dispute. The desire to control trading posts in the sea and
have access to raw resources have attracted these East Asian
countries. Increased militarization in these areas have led many
to worry about a future battle between the Asian powers.
Conferences to negotiate these borders have been largely
unsuccessful while the status of the disputed islands continues to
A large portion of the disputed territory has been claimed by
China, who use historical maps to prove their original authority.
They have aggressively attacked other countries, such as
Vietnam, in order to take control. The rise of nationalism in China
has contributed to their bellicosity and violent actions. China has
already been accused of violating the sovereign rights of the
Philippines while trying to advance their agenda, and will continue
to do so until they have their territory. They have often been
blamed for the increase of violence in the disputes, and are often
viewed as the common enemy by other countries.
No matter which country gains control over the disputed
lands, the bitter rivalry will probably never disappear. The world
continues to watch nervously as the capricious conditions of the
South China sea unfold.