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South China Sea

China's incursions over Malaysia add to South China Sea disputes

Beijing uses show of force and vaccine diplomacy to expand influence

A Chinese military plane is spotted in Malaysian airspace, according to Malaysia's air force. (Taken from a Malaysian military Tweet)

JAKARTA/BEIJING/TAIPEI -- China has stepped up incursions into Southeast Asian airspace, drawing the ire of Malaysia in the most recent breach, as Beijing seeks to expand its influence in the region with the mix of a vaccine charm offensive and a show of force. 

Malaysia's air force scrambled jets this week to intercept 16 Chinese aircraft entering its national airspace. The Chinese aircraft were "flying in tactical formation" and came within 60 nautical miles of Borneo, the air force said on Monday.

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