Oil-prospective Spratlys still a flashpoint

The South China Sea's Spratly Islands continue to be a potential flash point as China persists in following a long-term strategy of gradually extending its control over the entire South China Sea.That poses a major concern for oil and gas companies that see the waters surrounding the islands as holding significant hydrocarbon potential. Exploration licenses awarded by both China and Viet Nam in disputed waters there have contributed to rising tensions in the region. Exacerbating the problem has been the recent round of saber-rattling between China and Taiwan over Taiwan's status.China's opportunism Click here to enlarge imageChina's bolstering last December and January of milita...

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