As the Philippines and China continue to square off over the Scarborough Shoal, there are very real fears that this disputes—an extension of the greater South China Sea disputes—could not only lead to regional instability, thereby setting back economic progress made by Asia-Pacific countries, but also war. Not unlike an elastic band stretched to its limits, all that is required for the Scarborough Shoal confrontation to erupt is one, irreconcilable mistake.

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