More than half of the world’s shipping tonnage sails through these waters, which may hold valuable oil and gas reserves. China is asserting its territorial claims here.
Beijing wants to assert its preeminence in Asia. But not so strongly as to push its neighbors into the arms of the United States.
China's state news agency reported that a gang attacked a police station and government offices in the troubled northwest region. China has fingered Xinjiang separatists for several serious attacks in recent months.