BALI, Indonesia (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is stressing the urgency of resolving disputes between China and its neighbors over territory and resources in the South China Sea, where tensions have soared over competing claims.
Speaking in Bali, Indonesia, on Sunday, Clinton underscored the
importance of reaching peaceful settlements to the disputes, which she said are threatening economic growth and security throughout the Asia-Pacific.
She called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China to work "urgently" to adopt a binding code of conduct for the waters.
The parties this week took a first step toward resolving claims but Clinton said more needed to done.
China claims the entire, strategic and potentially resource-rich sea.
But other countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines, have partial claims.