At the annual defense ministers conference in Singapore called the Shangri-La conference, India's Prime Minister Modi made the following points:
Modi championed 1) democratic principles and 2) a free and open Indo-Pacific, while emphasizing 3) respect for territorial rights and 4) international law rights.
All of these points were aimed at China who is doing the exact opposite of these 4 points, particularly in the South China Sea.
The order of the speakers was intentional. At about the same time that PM Modi of India made these key points regarding the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Pacific command rebranded itself changing its name to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in a move to bolster its military relationship with India and to address the ever increasing conflict in the South China Sea. Both Oceans serve as buffer zones to the South China Sea to the east and to the west.
The following speaker was U.S. Defense Secretary General "Mad Dog" Mattis who directly called out China on these points and labeling China's actions in the South China Sea as both examples of "intimidation and coercion". He also warned of consequences for Beijing should Xi Jin Ping of China continue to break his promise of not militarizing the South China Sea.
The article I included above lays out how China's approach to the South China Sea is not productive but rather counterproductive as many smaller nations are driven to reach out to America to help protect themselves from an ever abrasive China in that particular region.