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Vietnam begins dredging on South China Sea reef

Vietnam has begun dredging work on a disputed reef in the South China Sea, satellite imagery shows, the latest move by the Communist state to bolster its claims in the strategic waterway.

Images suggest China militarizing Spratlys

When President Xi Jinping of China visited President Obama at the White House last September, he startled many with reassuring words about his intentions for the Spratly Islands, a contested area where the Chinese government has been piling dredged sand and concrete atop reefs for the past few years and building housing and runways on them.

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A meeting of Asia-Pacific defense ministers has scrapped plans for a joint declaration after the Chinese delegation lobbied to block mention of Beijing’s island-building activities in the disputed South China Sea, a US defense official said Wednesday.

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