White House: disputes over South China Sea must not involve 'bullying'

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 09, 2016 6:41 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday that President Barack Obama would deliver a tough message to China during a summit with Southeast Asian countries next week that disputes over the South China Sea must be resolved through global rules and not through "bullying."

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call that disputes over the area must be handled in a way that is consistent with international norms and not by larger nations bullying smaller ones.

Obama is hosting a summit with leaders from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday and Tuesday in California.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Eric Beech)