U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging China and its Southeast Asian neighbors to show restraint in disputed waters in the South China Sea.
She also told diplomats Saturday at Asia's largest security forum that differences should be settled in accordance with international law.
The South China Sea is strategically important because one-third of the world's shipping transits through its waters.
China _ which claims the sea in its entirety _ has been accused of trying to intimidate Philippine and Vietnam oil exploration boats in waters that are partially claimed by those and other Southeast Asian nations.
Clinton says all parties should comply with international law "and resolve their disputes through peaceful means."
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BALI, Indonesia (AP) _ U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says disputes in the South China Sea are threatening peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Clinton told diplomats at Asia's largest security forum Saturday that "recent incidents" in the waters "threaten the peace and stability on which the remarkable progress of the Asia-Pacific region has been built."
She said they "undermine freedom of navigation and pose risks to lawful, unimpeded commerce and economic development."
China _ which claims the South China Sea in its entirety _ has been accused in recent months of trying to intimidate Philippine and Vietnam oil exploration boats in waters that are partially claimed by several Southeast Asian countries.