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Michael Vatikiotis: The West may fear China's rise, but alienating Beijing won't help

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A white Chinese coast guard vessel sails near a Vietnamese coast guard boat in the South China Sea off the Vietnamese coast.   © Reuters

With China rapidly on its way to becoming the 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 that anxiety has only been fueled by Beijing's recent display of histrionics after a United Nations tribunal ruled that the country's expansive claims in the South China Sea had no basis in law. China sent bombers aloft over disputed islands and threatened to declare an air defense identification zone.

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