A number of Asian nations are expanding their military capabilities as a resurgent, well-heeled and more muscular China increases its spending on arms and asserts territorial claims along the coast of east Asia. Vietnam has almost doubled its military spending, Japan is asking for a defense budget that is its biggest ever, and the Philippines is hastily trying to create a viable navy. The scramble comes in the middle of squabbles with Beijing over disputed reefs and waters. China, for example, lays claim to the entire South China Sea, which scientists say may be rich in oil and minerals. South Korea and India also have been modernizing their militaries, although their disagreements with Beijing have been lesss confrontational.
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