U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned that a rising territorial dispute over the potentially resource-rich South China Sea is getting "out of control."
Clinton, in Bali, Indonesia, to attend Asia's largest security conference, urgently pressed for a resolution among feuding countries, pointing to a recent escalation of naval violence in the area.
China last week agreed to a preliminary plan to create a map as part of a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"We think that this is important first step, but only a first step in adopting the declaration of conduct," Clinton said.
"And we commend again Indonesia's leadership in achieving that and urge ASEAN to move quickly, I would even add urgently, to achieve a code of conduct that will avoid any problem in the vital sea lanes and territorial waters of the South China Sea."
China claims the entire sea as its own while Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan maintain partial or overlapping claims.
compiled from agency reports