With respect to the tensions in the South China Sea, Bloomberg.com reported that the U.S. Defense Secretary reaffirmed that the U.S. would continue to operate in the region:
“There should be no mistake about this: The United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world,” said Carter, who has ordered the military to develop options for more assertive U.S. demonstrations of its right to transit the region.
Carter Warns China U.S. Will Go Wherever Global Law Permits - Bloomberg Politics
Personally, I would have preferred if he substituted "American interests" for international law, but agree with his overall sentiments. Appeals to international law have technical merit, but commitments rooted in national interests are viewed as stronger, as nations act to safeguard their interests while they don't necessarily respond to breaches in international law. Free passage through the international waters of the South China Sea is a critical American interest (and vital interest of numerous American allies).
Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy