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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

China's territorial claims in Asia

The Economist says one reason China’s spectacular rise sometimes alarms its neighbours is that it is not a status quo power. From its inland, western borders to its eastern and southern seaboard, it claims territory it does not control.

In the west, China’s border dispute with India is more than a minor cartographic tiff. China claims an area of India that is three times the size of Switzerland, the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Further west, China occupies Indian claimed territory next to Ladakh in Kashmir, an area called the Aksai Chin. China humiliated India in a brief, bloody war over the dispute in 1962. Since 1988, the two countries have put the dispute on the backburner and got on with developing commercial ties, despite occasional flare-ups.

More immediately dangerous is the stand-off between China and Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyu in Chinese.

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