China and Vietnam have already had minor military engagements over sovereignty rights to areas of the South China Sea.
May 19, 2017
‘President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday (May 19) that China has warned him it will go to war if the Philippines ”forces the issue” of ownership over parts of the South China Sea.
In a speech before members of the Philippine Coast Guard, he recounted telling Chinese President Xi Jinping when they met in Beijing on Monday (May 15) that Manila wanted to drill for oil in the South China Sea, presumably inside Reed Bank, where a Philippine company had started exploration works.’
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