The South China Sea is a region of overlapping territorial claims. The claimants include, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia (and also Brunei). The resources claimed include fishing rights, as well as the potential for huge natural gas and possibly oil reserves.
The flexing of muscles by the various groups involved, and the current standoff by Chinese and Philippine naval vessels, give one pause, and ask the questions:
I wonder why negotiation is not an option between all of the countries which have overlapping claims?
Has the word "compromise" been used in any of the diplomatic language? How about "share"?
The South China Sea is the potential "flash point" for a regional conflict, or a broader war. It is completely avoidable, and the various claimants should sit down under international law and have a diplomatic conclusion to this matter, and not a military one.