US leaders have lashed out at China, but would likely be unwilling to start a war in the South China Sea.
US Navy handout/EPA
China has taken an incremental approach to cementing its control over the disputed waters, making the US and its allies powerless to stop it.
The USS Roosevelt sails the South China Sea.
In the summer of 2007, in a bizarre incident shown live on Russian television, scientists accompanied by a couple of senior politicians descended 4,300 meters to the floor of the Arctic Ocean in two Mir…
A Chinese government image of soldiers on one of the built-up Spratly islands.
The US is considering using warships and helicopters to pressure China into scaling back construction in the Spratly islands. But why is there one rule for China, and another for other nations?
A Filipino soldier patrols the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The US is considering sending aircrafts and warships to patrol the disputed area, which is claimed by China and four other Southeast Asian countries.
EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO / POOL
The US is considering naval patrols of disputed parts of the South China Sea in response to China's creation of artificial islands. Other nations with claims may welcome a temporary US presence.