Clinton to Push South China Sea Issue in Beijing Talks
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is headed to Beijing. She has promised to take a strong message to Chinese leaders on the issue of resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Clinton wants China to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on a code of conduct for managing the disputes, in hopes of preventing continued flare-ups in the resource-rich region. Beijing, which claims nearly the entire sea, has resisted signing such a code. It instead prefers to deal individually with rival claimants individually, including Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
Before leaving Indonesia for China Tuesday, Clinton said Southeast Asian nations must present a unified front in dealing with the disputes to “literally calm the waters.” She made her comments following meetings in Jakarta with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan.