• In this May 28, 2016, file photo, Tibetan exhibitors check on their phones at their booth displaying their products during the China International Fair and Trade in Beijing. Tensions have been rising over China’s assertive behavior in the seas of Asia. The U.S. also accuses China of unfair trading practices and cyber theft of business secrets. Donald Trump says that the sheer volume of trade gives the U.S. leverage over China. He accuses China of undervaluing its currency to make its exports artificially cheap and proposes tariffs as high as 45 percent on Chinese imports if Beijing doesn’t change its behavior. Such action could risk a trade war that would make many products in the U.S. more expensive. Clinton says the U.S. needs to press the rising Asian power to play by international rules, whether on trade or territorial disputes. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

    WHY IT MATTERS: China

    WASHINGTON (AP) — THE ISSUE: Tensions have been rising between China and the United States. China is modernizing its military and pressing its sovereignty claims over the disputed South China Sea, an important route for global trade. The U.S. is pushing back by increasing its military presence in Asia, which China views as provocative. The U.S. also accuses China of unfair trading practices and cyber theft of business secrets. Tough action by either side could spark a skirmish at sea or a trade war that would make many goods in the U.S. more expensive.

  • In this Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, talks with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, right, during the 115th Police Service Anniversary at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Manila. Duterte said last week that he would not raise maritime disputes with China at a meeting of Southeast Asian nations in Laos next month, preferring to talk quietly with Chinese officials. (Noel Celis/Pool Photo via AP, File)

    Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea dispute

    BEIJING (AP) — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential gas and oil reserves: