Informationdissemination.net has a surprising proposal for dealing with the Chinese non-military aggressiveness in the South China Sea. He proposes putting US personnel (he specifically mentions US Coast Guard personnel among other possibilities) on the vessels of friendly nations, specifically mentioning the Philippines, but this might be extended to other nations facing similar attempted intimidation.
The intended effect of emplacing U.S. personnel aboard allied vessels ideally should be twofold. First, help our allies by lowering their risk of operations (such as resupplying isolated garrisons) and assuring them that the U.S. is a stalwart friend. Second, negate Chinese escalation dominance by forcing them to confront Americans in order to achieve their ends. This would force them into a choice between moving to higher level rungs on the escalation ladder and therefore incurring a greater risk of conflict with the U.S., or backing off. Whatever course they chose, their incremental approach would be dealt a setback.
The comments also note that having a US rep on board would also insure that incidents are accurately reported keeping allies as well as the Chinese honest and lending the reports greater credibility.