Magazine article Geographical

Tensions Rise in South China Sea

Magazine article Geographical

Tensions Rise in South China Sea

Article excerpt

In an effort to collect valuable red coral for jewellery production, Chinese poachers are encroaching on Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the Izu and Ogasawara Islands.

This is the latest maritime confrontation to occur between China and Japan over the islands, which lie south and southeast respectively from mainland Japan and are home to 26,000 people. Trouble between the countries usually comes in the East China Sea, but unlike the disputed Senkaku-Diaoyu islands, the poacher's targets lie in undisputed Japanese territory.

'At the moment the situation in the China Seas is tense, but stable,' says Bill Hayton, whose recent book, South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia, examines the region's flashpoints. 'The main thing worrying people is that China is creating artificial islands in the South China Sea that it has occupied for the last few years.'

Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Brunei, Korea and Japan are all claiming these islands. …

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