The only chart you need to see to know that the South China Sea is one of the most militarised regions in the world

Tensions are continuing to rise throughout the South China Sea as the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is expected to bring forth a ruling in the next few weeks against China’s claims over control of the majority of the territory in the region.

Meanwhile, Chinese diplomats throughout the region have started a push-back campaign in favour of China’s claims over the sea. China’s territorial claims run against similar claims made by the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia.

The following map from the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative shows how significant disputes over the region could be. China, by far, has the largest military force in the region. As such, Beijing could force its claims over the South China Sea against the wishes of the other nations involved in the dispute due to both its economic and military size.

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