East Asia is home to several territorial disputes, which occasionally escalate into regional violence. Many of the island territories are small, isolated from the countries’ mainlands, and sparsely populated. But strategic interests and abundant natural resources make them valuable. Here are five of East Asia’s flashpoints:
Stubbornness over conflicting claims to the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands in the East China Sea holds out the prospect of competing maritime patrols and continued tensions, raising the risk of an incident.
A dangerous confrontation between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands can be deflected if China returns to the idea of laying aside sovereignty claims in favor of seeking joint development of any seabed wealth.