• China urged the U.S. to make greater efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
• Clinton said Monday in Jakarta that it is time to create a code of conduct for the South China Sea.
• Hong said parties concerned should work together via consultations to create a code of conduct.
BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- China urged the United States on Tuesday to make greater efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's two day-visit to Beijing.
"We have taken note of the U.S. side's refusal to take a position on the South China Sea issue," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing.
"We hope the U.S. side will keep its commitment and make efforts that help, rather than harm, regional peace and stability," Hong said.
Clinton said Monday in Jakarta that it is now time to create a code of conduct for the South China Sea.
"It is time for diplomacy," she said. "We have the East Asia Summit coming up. This should be the goal that diplomacy pursues: to try to attain agreement on a robust code of conduct, to begin to try to literally calm the waters and enable people to work together toward better outcomes."
Hong said the South China Sea issue is complicated and different countries have different understandings, concerns and interests regarding the issue.
"For China, the issue is about the country's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its interests in waters near the South China Sea," Hong said, adding that "China, like all other countries in the world, has an obligation to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity."
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