United States Trying to maintain freedom of navigation for the area which is being threatened by Chinese aggression.
Why is the South China Sea so important?
China Trying to control as much of the South China sea as possible, even going to such extremes as increasing the size of islands or creating new ones for military ports and airstrips.
Philippines Have had stand offs in the past with China concerning territorial disputes but discussions have begun within the past 2 months for a deal that would allow each country to share the seas resources
The South China Sea is a crucial part for sea trade between Asia and the middle east while also having an estimated 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
On September 30th a Chinese warship had an "unsafe" encounter with a U.S destroyer. The warship made aggressive maneuvers along with warnings to leave the area. U.S captain claims the ship got within 45 yards.