The South China Sea remains a hotbed of contention, with recent events escalating tensions between the United States and China, as well as the ongoing disputes between China and the Philippines.

Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) reportedly sailed near Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands chain, prompting furious reactions from China’s military.

Concurrently, the Philippines raised concerns about over 135 China Maritime Militia (CMM) vessels surrounding a reef within the Spratlys.

These incidents underscore the complex geopolitical challenges in the region and the potential for broader implications. Let’s take a closer look.