US military commander urges compromise in South China Sea claims, opposes change through force

The top American military commander in the Pacific says the U.S. will oppose moves by any country to seize control of disputed areas in the South China Sea by force.

Adm. Samuel Locklear says rival claimants might need to seek compromises to resolve the feud over potentially oil-rich areas of the sea.

Locklear did not mention any country by name, but China's increasingly aggressive claims to disputed islands have triggered worries about confrontations with others including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

Locklear told reporters during a visit to Malaysia on Wednesday that the U.S. "will oppose the change of status quo by force by anyone."

He voiced support for Southeast Asian efforts to seek a code of conduct with China to prevent fighting.