The Straits Times
Published on Aug 29, 2012

Clinton to press on China disputes in Asia tour


WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will warn against the use of force between China and its neighbours on a tour of Asia that comes amid mounting tension over sea disputes, officials said on Tuesday.

On her third visit to Asia since May, Mrs Clinton will become the first US secretary of state to take part in a summit of Pacific islands - an area where China's influence has been growing - and to stop in Timor Leste.

Mrs Clinton will hold talks in Beijing on Sept 4 and 5, the United States and China announced. Friction has been rising both in the South China Sea, where Beijing is building a controversial new garrison, and in the East China Sea, where activists have sailed to islands claimed by both Japan and China.

"We don't want to see the disputes in the South China Sea, or anywhere else, settled be intimidation, by force. We want to see them settled at the negotiating table," State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said.