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Is China trying to take control of South China Sea?




This handout photo provided by the Office of the Defense Secretary (OSD), taken Aug. 19, 2014, shows a Chinese fighter jet that the White House said Friday conducted a
This handout photo provided by the Office of the Defense Secretary (OSD), taken Aug. 19, 2014, shows a Chinese fighter jet that the White House said Friday conducted a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
Uncredited/AP

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Is China trying to take unilateral control of the South China Sea? 

That's what the Philippine government thinks and the U.S. government is also worried.

Last month, Chinese fighter jets challenged a U.S. surveillance aircraft flying -- in international air space -- over the South China Sea. 

Related: China warns US over surveillance flights

And recent aerial photos show China building a series of artificial islands -- more than 600 miles from its own southern shore -- in an area known as the Spratly islands. 

The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes has been investigating.