The reason the U.S wants to use the sea is because it helps us spend out, expand. It also is really helpful to trade and get places because it is farther away from our countymeaning we are closer to other countries. China says that we are meddling with in the are and they do not understand. They say we are doing it to prevent them from reaching their full potential. Some Americans agree with this and think we should just leave that area alone.
The South China Sea is important to China becuase a lot of naval force is there blockading Taiwan and protection into these Pacific and Indian oceans. Chinese say they need this area for expanding and power but some people do not trust them. Japan does not trust them because of a dispute with Japan in 2010 when china blocked them from getting supplies which were very important.
This is similar to imperialism of Southeast Asia because everybody want the are of land becuase it can benefit themselves. For example it opens up a lot of expansion with, trading and naval forces. Also there are many good resources that can be used there so people want as much of it as they can get. This land can also be used again other people becuase it is so valuable that people will fight for it.
The countries that are occupying the land at this time are China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. All of these counties are spread out. All over the islands holding onto what they can. A lot of military is in this are becuase it is easy to station naval forces there and to make sure you can keep the area.