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US criticizes Chinese maritime claims
The US is voicing concern that China is gradually asserting control in the disputed South China Sea on the basis of vague territorial claims unsupported by international law. Sharpening US criticism of the rising Asian power, the top US diplomat for East Asia, Daniel Russel, described in congressional testimony Wednesday a litany of actions by China that are raising tensions.

 

Russel says China has restricted access to a contested reef in the South China Sea; taken bids on areas far from its own shores for hydrocarbon exploration; and imposed fishing regulations in disputed waters. (AP)