The stakes have risen in the South China Sea as the US military shifts its attention back to Asia, emboldening the Philippines and Vietnam to take tougher stance against Beijing.
The move comes amid rising tensions between China and its neighbors over disputed islands in the resource rich area.
For the past decade, China has not played a significant role in Afghanistan. But with NATO starting to pull out, Afghanistan's security will affect neighboring China.
Now that Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has reached the United States, both Beijing and Washington are hoping to put what could have been a tense diplomatic situation behind them.
Blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng was hurriedly taken from a hospital and put on a plane for the United States on Saturday, closing a nearly month-long diplomatic tussle that had tested U.S.-China relations.
Like the thousands of women who fled North Korea before her, Kim Eun-sun made it into China and paid a woman to help her, only to discover she'd traded one form of captivity for another.
Analysts say the oil-rich waters around Scarborough Shoal and the Paracels are but one factor in the increasingly prickly relations between China and the Philippines.
The monthlong standoff between China and the Philippines over a South China Sea shoal is snowballing. Ahead of anti-Chinese protests in Manila, China cancelled flights to the Philippines.
Chinese authorities forced Al Jazeera English to close its China news operations, and suggested that its reporter had broken unspecified laws and behaved unethically.
China refused to renew the visa for Al Jazeera's China reporter. This is the first time an accredited foreign correspondent living in China has been ejected since 1998.