Vietnam-China Spratly Islands dispute threatens to escalate
Tensions between Vietnam and China over disputed claims to the resource-rich Spratly Islands in the South China Sea are threatening peace in the region.
China sent its largest patrol ship Thursday on what it claimed was a routine trip through the area, but the deployment comes after a spate of other moves, including Vietnam’s staging of a live-fire exercise in the area and China’s denouncement of it.
Neither country is likely to back down easily, and if they did, neither population would see it in a favorable light. Because of this, some worry tensions could escalate to the point of exchange of fire.