An Overview of Conflicting Maritime Claims in the South China Sea

The U.S. and other Western nations have pushed for a “rules-based order” in the South China Sea, which carries a large portion of the world’s maritime freight traffic, calling it critical to regional security and economic prosperity. But Beijing largely views U.N.-backed codes of maritime governance as incompatible with domestic laws and has continued dredging projects on seven disputed formations for nearly two years, creating artificial micro-islands.

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