For the last several years, China has been extending its influence into the South China Sea, even going as far as to build an island with an airfield off the coast of the Philippines. It's called Woody Island and China has gone so far as to use an old map to say they have the right to claim the majority of the South China Sea as theirs.
Their main objective with this is to isolate Taiwan to force its reunification and to claim the oil under the area as theirs since their economic health is fading. They need to control the shipping and oil production offshore to beef it up. They've already threatened to take action against anyone violating their claimed zone of influence, including the US.
Wars happen more often because of economic pressure than ideological difference. The Middle East situation was old before WWI. It will continue for centuries and probably won't develop into anything worse than border skirmishes. China, on the other hand, has a long history of war for the sake of land and economy. They have expanded their political influence as far as they can without running up against some serious opposition from Russia or the US.
There a storm brewing in the Far East and nobody over here is watching. It will be a surprise when it finally blows. An ugly, lethal, nuclear surprise.