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Opinion

ASEAN members start standing up to China's maritime aggression

Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia are challenging Beijing in court and at sea

| Vietnam
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo stands on the deck of its naval ship at Selat Lampa Port, Natuna Islands which overlap with the tip of China's nine-dashed-line on Jan. 8.   © Indonesian Presidential Office/AP

For decades, Beijing has sought to co-opt and lure its Southeast Asian neighbors into acquiescence with its maritime expansion through a package of economic incentives, military intimidation and a diplomatic charm offensive.

But now major regional countries have begun to assert their sovereign rights with greater resolve. In the past three months alone, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have challenged China's expansive maritime claims and coercive intrusion into their waters -- with significant effects on the geopolitical balance of power.

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