Clinton Addresses South China Sea Rifts

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out about escalating tensions between China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and other neighbors over competing claims in the South China Sea, and said they risk getting “out of control.” From the Washington Post:

Clinton spoke in Bali, where China and the Association of Southeast Asian nations took a first step toward establishing a binding code of conduct for the South China Sea last week.

She said dangerous incidents were on the rise and the international community has a vested interest in ending them because they threaten the stability, economic growth, and prosperity of the entire Asia-Pacific.

“The rest of the world needs to weigh in because all of us have a stake in ensuring that these disputes don’t get out of control,’’ Clinton told reporters at a joint news conference with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

Clinton said increasing incidents of intimidation, such as the ramming of boats and cutting of vessels’ cables, were ratcheting up tensions and raising the “cost of doing business for everyone who travels through the South China Sea.’’