China began military operations in other countries. In the past, they have ‘responded’ with military operations. Now, they are conducting ‘routine’ patrols.

Yes, they dispute the territorial claims, but only because they want the oil and fish ….


Global Public Square

By Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt is the Beijing-based China and Northeast Asia project director for the International Crisis Group. The views expressed are her own.

As tensions rise in the South China Sea, the gloves are coming off in Beijing. When it comes to exploiting the weaknesses of its rivals in Southeast Asia – smaller nations also laying claim to the South China Sea – China doesn’t pull any punches.

Until recently, it followed a line of “reactive assertiveness” – responding forcefully to perceived provocations in this disputed body of water. Now, there are signs that China has shed the “reactive” part of its approach.

Beijing took reactive assertiveness for a test drive during the Scarborough Shoal standoff with the Philippines that began in April. While faulting the Philippines for turning a typical fishing run-in into a crisis by sending in a warship

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