An aerial view of the Qilianyu Islands in the Paracel chain, which China claims. Tensions have been rising over the resource-rich South China Sea. Photo: AFP
An aerial view of the Qilianyu Islands in the Paracel chain, which China claims. Tensions have been rising over the resource-rich South China Sea. Photo: AFP

Will South China Sea’s rival claimants be emboldened by US policy shift?

  • Washington’s tougher line on the contested waterway gives China’s neighbours some leverage in negotiations, observer says
  • But they are expected to carefully balance relations between the two superpowers to avoid getting caught in the middle

An aerial view of the Qilianyu Islands in the Paracel chain, which China claims. Tensions have been rising over the resource-rich South China Sea. Photo: AFP
An aerial view of the Qilianyu Islands in the Paracel chain, which China claims. Tensions have been rising over the resource-rich South China Sea. Photo: AFP
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