As a one time political-science/historian, in the early 70's, China was making claim to all manner of islands within their sphere of influence - 'their sphere of influence'. The US did something similar with Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, etc ect etc...so go the spoils of war.
Now, the self described "exceptional" United States military dares to interfere in another nation's sphere of influence and from a rather powerful country, China. China is not Iraq, Cuba, or any of the tin horn dictators from Banana Republics the US usually bullies. A world war with China can and will put out the lights of most of America. The buffoonery that passes for US political policy has performed stupid enough to worry people like me, who know better than to tug on the Tiger's tail.
Also, Asian interests, like that between Europe and Russia, are connected to China, Korea, Taiwan, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and more. They have been trading for decades among themselves. It's doubtful the peoples of these countries would stand by the US in a game of chicken. Another reality is that China has 3 times more people and troops. Hurling nuclear weapons upon each other would also leave China in a better condition than the US. Are we seeing the insanity yet? Should the world suffer the hubris of America at least the empire would be dead.