A focus of American resources on Asia was a major priority when Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of State. But it is unclear if John Kerry will follow her approach exactly, many regional analysts say.
The new city of Sansha lies on tiny coral reefs in the Paracel Islands, one of the many disputed specks of land in the South China Sea.
China dodged signing a code of conduct this week at the East Asia Summit, a regional security meeting.
Hillary Clinton will visit Burma(Myanmar), the first time a US Secretary of State has traveled to the southeast Asian nation in over 50 years.
Chinese officials have reacted cooly to President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that US Marines will be based in northern Australia, closer to the disputed South China Sea than any other US land forces.
President Obama in Australia today pledged to boost the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The significant strategic shift is popular with regional governments wary of China's rise.
The visit by Secretary of Defense Gates to Singapore highlights Asia's lack of a strong forum for regional security talks. Asian countries are also wary of being squeezed between the US and a rising China.