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"By" means at or prior to the end (11:59:59 pm ET) of 31 December 2011. Will there be a lethal armed confrontation over a maritime or territorial dispute in the South China Sea or East China Sea by 31 December 2011? The dispute involves government assets of at least one of the following countries (PRC, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, North Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, or the United States) in territories including the Spratly, Paracel, and Senkaku islands. “Lethal” requires at least one death (government or civilian). The East China Sea includes the Yellow Sea. Outcome will be resolved based on reporting from one or more of the following sources: BBC News or Reuters or Economist Online (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ or http://www.reuters.com/ or http://www.economist.com). If nothing is reported in these sources, then the "status quo" outcome typically will be assumed (e.g., for a question about a political leader leaving office, an absence of reporting will be taken to indicate that the leader remains in office). Administrator reserves the right to use other sources as needed (e.g., CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia), provided those sources do not directly contradict concurrent event reporting from BBC News, Reuters, or Economist Online. In cases of substantial controversy or uncertainty, Administrator may refer the question to outside subject matter experts, or we may deem the question invalid/void.