The Chinese love to call hypocrisy, about "Well, the US does blah blah blah..." However, look at the Gulf of Mexico, a good comparative example to the South China Sea situation. See, in the Gulf of Mexico, the United States may actually have a strong position than the Chinese, with greater amount of shoreline touching the water and greater military superiority over its neighbors. There's oil in those water, rich fisheries, and its a critical body of water for American security interests. Yet unlike the Chinese, the Americans didn't scoop up the entire region like a hollowed out grapefruit and tell its neighbors FU. Instead, they sat down, from a position of power no less, and negotiated equitable maritime boundaries, not just with friendly nations like Mexico, but with hostile states like the Cubans. However, the Chinese are different, proving quite greedy and trying to essentially annex other nations' EEZ from Malaysia and Brunei up to Korea and Japan. It's a sad state of affairs, and it only serves to unite China's neighbors against it. With actions like that, they really shouldn't question why their neighbors fear them.