Playing Chicken in the South China Sea

May 22, 2016 4:09 AM

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Playing Chicken in the South China Sea

By the Pentagon’s account, two Chinese fighter jets performed an “unsafe” maneuver this week by flying within 50 feet of an American surveillance plane over the South China Sea. That’s not much more than a hairbreadth, aeronautically speaking, and a collision could have been catastrophic — to the crews and to the already fragile diplomatic relations between China and its regional neighbors and the United States.

China has been behaving in a bellicose fashion in the South China Sea for some time as part of a sustained and increasingly dangerous effort to assert sovereignty over a vital waterway in which other nations also have claims. In a few weeks, an international arbitration court is expected to rule in ...

Also read: Bombers in the South China Sea: Beijing Grows its Military Presence on Disputed Islands

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