China and Philippines have been engaged in a face-off over the control of Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.
However, the neighboring countries have always remained silent over this issue. Noticeably, United States has always been cautious on this issue and the two governments have adopted a middle path on this issue where they try to avoid any kind of military confrontation on this issue.
A hint of this approach taken by United States was evident recently during the bilateral meet between foreign and defense ministers of United States and Philippines. During this meeting also United States ruled out any plans for mediating on behalf of Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal issue in South China Sea.
This understanding on this contagious issue between the two nations can be understood in the background of China complying with US wishes on condemning North Korea for its failed rocket launch.
China has in the recent past tried to strengthen its hold in the murkier waters of South China Sea and has also threatened India for intervening in the region. Until recent times, India had the support of United States on this issue but with US toeing a different line, it waits to be seen if other countries including Russia support India and other nations in South East Asia who have been opposing increased presence of China in troubled waters of South China Sea.