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Vietnam: A Coast Guard Counter in the South China Sea

MIN READApr 11, 2018 | 23:43 GMT

(Stratfor)

As China continues to steadily ramp up its quasi-military forces, countries around the South China Sea are responding by strengthening their own maritime enforcement capabilities in the competition for sea lanes, natural resources and disputed territory. On April 11, Vietnam's National Assembly released a draft bill outlining potential changes to the authority, functions and structure of the country's coast guard. Significantly, the proposal would empower the coast guard with greater flexibility on when to open fire at sea, raising the risk of skirmishes in waters where the undefined boundaries already lead to fishing conflicts and other disputes....

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