Chinese vessels have “expelled” two Vietnamese ships from the Paracel Islands.
Meanwhile, China has announced plans to settle a village in the Spratlys. If you can’t settle it by international law, settle it with people.
Meanwhile, high-level talks between Japan and the ASEAN nations a Japan explores more active security ties, based on their common territorial issues with China. ASEAN has historically preferred to play one power off another without definitive alignment, and it may take more overt action by China, ASEAN’s key trading partner, to change that policy. Still, the door is open, and China would do well to take note.