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By Lincoln Feast and Greg Torode SYDNEY/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Vietnam has begun dredging work on a disputed reef in the South China Sea, satellite imagery shows, the latest move by the Communist state to bolster its claims in the strategic waterway. Activity visible on Ladd Reef in the Spratly Islands could anger Hanoi's main South China Sea rival, Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the group and most of the resource-rich sea. Ladd Reef, on the south-western fringe of the Spratlys, is completely submerged at high tide but has a lighthouse and an outpost housing a small contingent of Vietnamese soldiers.
By Yawen Chen and Kevin Yao BEIJING (Reuters) - China's imports grew at the fastest pace in more than two years in November, fueled by its strong thirst for commodities from coal to iron ore, while exports also rose unexpectedly, reflecting a pick-up in both domestic and global demand. The upbeat data adds to signs of a modest industrial recovery in the world's largest economies, even as China and other Asian exporters brace for a potential trade war once protectionist U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office. "The improvement reflects a strengthening in global demand, with recent business surveys suggesting that developed economies are on track to end the year on a strong note," Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Singapore-based Capital Economics, said in a note.