U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in Beijing at the start of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, called on all parties in the region to "find a diplomatic solution" to rising tensions in the disputed South China Sea.
"We are looking for a peaceful resolution to the dispute in the South China Sea and oppose any country resolving claims through unilateral action," Kerry said, referring to China's increasingly aggressive expansion in the area.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also addressed attendees at the opening session, said China and the U.S. need to develop a more trusting relationship.
"China and the U.S. need to increase mutual trust," Xi said, as he called for increased efforts to manage conflicts and avoid "strategic misjudgment."
Saying that it may take time to settle disputes in the region, he added, "The vast Pacific should be a stage for cooperation, not an area for competition."