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Who Is the Biggest Aggressor in the South China Sea?

Jun 19 , 2015

In 1996, Vietnam occupied 24 features in the Spratly Islands (source). At that time, according to the same source, China occupied nine. By 2015, according to the United States government, Vietnam occupied 48 features, and China occupied eight.

On May 13, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, David Shear, said this to the Senate Foreign relations Committee: “Vietnam has 48 outposts; the Philippines, 8; China, 8; Malaysia, 5, and Taiwan, 1.”

In the past 20 years, according to the United States, China has not physically occupied additional features. By contrast, Vietnam has doubled its holdings, and much of that activity has occurred recently. The Vietnamese occupations appear to have increased from 30 to 48 in the last six years.

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