Clinton Warns of China Sea Confrontations, Urges Regional Talks

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that the lack of a region-wide solution to disputes in the South China Sea could lead to confrontations.

“Issues such as freedom of navigation and lawful exploitation of maritime resources often involve a wide region, and approaching them strictly bilaterally could be a recipe for confusion and even confrontation,” Clinton said in remarks to Asia-Pacific foreign ministers during a meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, today.

China has sought to keep the sea disputes off the agenda of regional meetings, preferring to negotiate with countries individually. The meeting also included envoys from the 10- member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicole Gaouette in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at

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