Despite some differences over the sovereignty issue, China and the United States both seek to ensure peace in the entire sea, and have more common ground than the Philippines and the United States. Washington is clearly aware that China can play a far more important role than the Philippines in helping realize its global strategy. It needs China's support in a variety of issues such as the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues.
The future of the South China Sea mainly depends on China and the United States. A visible trend is that the sea is becoming increasingly less peaceful. China's development requires smooth economic arteries and abundant resources, and there is an obvious strategic conflict between China and the United States in the South China Sea due to the country's "return to Asia" strategy. However, a peaceful South China Sea also serves the interests of all parties concerned.
The Philippines and other countries concerned will have to make a crucial choice in the coming period between actively participating in resolving the South China Sea through negotiations and continuing to confront China.
Source: The Beijing News