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Chinese officials will board, seize ships in disputed waters

Beginning January 1, Chinese police will board and seize control of foreign ships which enter waters that are the center of a territorial dispute between multiple Asian nations.

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A China Marine Surveillance ship, bottom, and a Japan Coast Guard ship steam side by side near disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea Nov. 20. China is defending its increasingly assertive patrolling near the islands controlled by Japan, as tensions in the area continue to run high.

Kyodo News/AP/File

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Police in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan will board and search ships which enter into what China considers its territorial waters in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Thursday, a move which could raise tensions further.

The South China Sea is Asia's biggest potential military trouble spot with several Asian countries claiming sovereignty.

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