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Southeast Asian countries challenge China over maritime claims September 22,2020   |  Source: US Embassy in Georgia

Southeast Asian countries are pushing back against the Chinese government’s aggression in the South China Sea.

A recent example of this aggression occurred in early April when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands.

“This incident is the latest in a long string of PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea,” the U.S. Department of State said in an April 6 statement.

The South China Sea is the subject of more than a dozen overlapping and interconnected disputes over who is in charge of the various islands, rocks, shoals and reefs scattered throughout the South China Sea waters.

China has asserted a maritime claim to a large majority of the South China Sea that is not consistent with international law.

In 2016, an international arbitration tribunal issued a decision finding that China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea are inconsistent with the Law of the Sea Convention.

China has tried to control the waters of the South China Sea, including those claimed by other countries, by using fishing vessels that are part of the Chinese maritime militia, coast guard ships and naval vessels to harass other

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