South China Sea and the Coronavirus: New Vietnam-China Incident Spotlights Old Realities

ChinaLast week, reports surfaced related to the sinking of a Vietnamese vessel near the South China Sea. The development spotlighted longstanding tensions that continue to simmer between China and Vietnam with respect to the South China Sea and the old, evolving dynamics of the flashpoint that continue to be important to watch even amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

As I have observed previously, even amid COVID-19 which has impacted countries across the Asia-Pacific, it continues to be important to monitor some of Asia’s key flashpoints including the South China Sea. Despite an illusion of calm with respect to the South China Sea, we have nonetheless seen continued tensions over the past year, including between Beijing and Hanoi which remain the two most capable claimants in a series of complex disputes.

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