While there has been little in terms of new actions, the US now has an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. This is like bringing an assault rifle to the party.
Some have characterized the passage of the USS Lassen as being 'innocent.' This means it was the right of the US Navy to pass through sovereign Chinese territorial waters, much like the Chinese did when Obama went to Alaska. This is not the case. The USS Lassen sail-by is part of a program the US runs to challenge territorial claims by nations all over, not just China, or so it seems.
Some are wondering if the situation in the South China Sea really is as advertised, an escalating and dangerous scenario come to life. Or is it really the status quo just noticed by the world finally?
And now meet what some are calling China's Little Blue Men, the Maritime Militia that has been pressing Chinese claims to the South China Sea by operating out of Hainan for some time.
My personal prediction is the situation in the South China Sea will scuffle back and forth, but there will be little more happening than what we see now. The media will move on unless something surprising happens like loss of life. This will then turn into the ship bumping the US and the USSR used to do during the Cold War: dangerous and but little noticed by the outside.