Oil and gas at heart of South China Sea dispute
16 April 2012 Last updated at 04:17 BST
Thousands of American and Filipino troops begin military exercises today in the South China Sea.
In Manila, demonstrators burnt the US flag outside the US embassy in protest at the military exercises.
The annual war games will take place close to the disputed Spratly Islands, which are claimed by China, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
One reason the area is contested is the existence of oil and gas reserves. Asia Business Report's Rico Hizon spoke to Tony Regan of Tri-Zen, who says the dispute is likely to carry on for years.