The island clash between Japan and China, as well as other island disputes in East Asia, could be more easily resolved if neighbors shared a common view of history.
A new Chinese city and base on a disputed South China Sea island have kicked up tensions, but it will likely end there. The last thing China wants to do is give the US a reason to get involved.
Beijing has boosted its military presence in the energy-rich South China Sea, despite disputed claims by Vietnam.
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.
This week, the USS John McCain is engaged in military exercises in the South China Sea - setting a new threshold in US-Vietnam ties.