Let's not forget what the Pacific theater of WWII was about: control of trade in the region. The US won decidedly, but at a damn high price. I think the lesson of WWII in both Europe and the Pacific is that appeasement isn't a viable long term policy. Of course I have no interest in a war, especially one that would necessitate the type of effort it would take to fight a war with China, but someone (namely, the US) has to make a stand vis-a-vis China's behavior in the South China Sea, Sea of Japan, etc. Every time they get away with taking territory by force, the simultaneously undermine the rule of law and inch closer to provoking a conflict (while also learning the lesson that aggression works consequence free).