Vu Duc ‘13 "Khanh Vu Duc is a Vietnamese-Canadian lawyer who researches on Vietnamese politics, international relations and international law. He is a frequent contributor to Asia Sentinel and BBC Vietnamese Service, "Who's Bluffing Whom in the South China Sea?" www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5237&Itemid=171
Conversely, China would find an increased American presence unacceptable and a nuisance. Of course, neither country is likely to find itself staring down the barrel of the other's gun. China's plans for the region would undoubtedly be under greater American scrutiny if Washington decides to allocate more assets to Asia-Pacific.
For the US, returning in force to Asia-Pacific would prove to be a costly endeavour, resources the country may or may not be able to muster. Yet, even if this is true, Washington's calculations may determine that the security risk posed by China in the region outweighs whatever investment required by the US.
China's dispute with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island, however heated, will prove to be a peripheral issue with respect to China's dispute with the several claimant states over the Spratlys. Ultimately, it is not improbable that China would seize one or several of the Spratlys under foreign control as a means to demonstrate its resolve in the disputes and the region; but to do so is to engage in unnecessary risk. The consequences stemming from such action are too great for Beijing to ignore.
Although it is unlikely that China's neighbors would be able to mount more than a diplomatic protest, the fuss deriving from such an incident could prove more burdensome for China than it is willing to risk. The real consequence for China of any and all conflict in the region is and has always been an American intervention. As is, it would benefit Beijing to seek a peaceful, mutually agreed upon resolution, rather than brute force.