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Politics

Michael Vatikiotis -- Asia's rise fuels anxieties

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A Chinese coast guard vessel approaches one from Vietnam in the South China Sea off the Vietnamese coast.   © Reuters

With China's accession to the title of world's largest economy, there is growing anxiety in the West about how to retain influence and primacy, not just in Asia, but globally.

China would have the world believe it has nothing to fear. But the recent display of histrionics after an international court of arbitration ruled that China's expansive claims in the South China Sea had no basis in law, has fuelled this anxiety. China sent bombers aloft over disputed islands and threatened to declare an Air Defense Zone -- and then did not.

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