Tensions are rising fast in East Asia as relations between China and several of its neighbors continue to deteriorate.  There have been ominous developments in just the past few days.  Speaking in Shanghai to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a veiled warning to countries about forming or strengthening alliances to counter China. “To beef up military alliances targeted at a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security in the region,” he admonished.   Just hours later, the governments of Vietnam and the Philippines issued a statement that they would jointly oppose “illegal” Chinese actions in the South China Sea. More