JAKARTA - China and its neighbors in Southeast Asia must move determinedly to draw up a code of conduct to help resolve disputes in the South China Sea, and should refrain from threats and coercion that have sent tension skyrocketing, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

Clinton, visiting Indonesia ahead of a trip to China on Tuesday, said she would tell Beijing and other claimants that it was essential to get faltering diplomacy back on track and move toward a deal in coming months.

"The United States does not take a position on competing territorial claims over land features, but we believe the nations of the region should work collaboratively together to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and certainly without the use of force," she said.

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