Informed Sources: May 30, 1994

Rising Tensions over the South China Sea

HONG KONG -- China announced plans last month to look for oil in an offshore area in the South China Sea that Vietnam claims ownership of. The dispute could lead to a confrontation because the area may contain as much as 700 million tons of oil, and Vietnam has already leased it to a Mobil-led joint venture. Vietnamese officials say they'd like to find a peaceful solution, but they also say that giving up the region is non-negotiable. A military analyst told Time that the Vietnamese defense budget has recently increased nearly 50%, largely...

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