Explained: the history of China’s territorial disputes

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China shares over 22,000 kilometres (13,670 miles) of border with 14 countries, but Beijing has disputes with many of its neighbours over where some of these international lines are drawn. The various territorial claims, citing history, politics and geography, have resulted in clashes and occasionally, outright military confrontations. Land borders aside, China also says its territory includes nearly all of the South China Sea, despite competing claims to parts of those waters made by many Southeast Asian countries. As tensions rise between China and the United States, Beijing has adopted a more aggressive attitude, pledging to defend China’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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