>> With tensions rising, President Obama's National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, making an urgent trip to China this week after an international court rejected Beijing's claims over the bitterly disputed South China Sea. China lashing out at the ruling and doubling down on its claims. Rice's mission, ensuring that the broader US-China relationship doesn't unravel, as the feud over the South China Sea gets ugly.
Correspondent Matt Spetalnick spoke with Rice exclusively ahead of her trip.>> Even as these tensions boil up between the United States and China over the South China Sea, Susan Rice has made clear that perhaps the biggest part of her visit is to make sure that the ties between these two countries are not affected.
That there's no spillover effect that damages cooperation in areas like the North Korean nuclear issue, climate change, maintaining Iran's compliance with the nuclear agreement there and economic issues in general.>> But frictions over the South China Sea keep getting in the way. Washington warning China with its growing military might not to threaten neighbors who have competing claims, as the US steps up its own patrols.
>> Susan Rice told us that her main concern is to make sure that China shows restraint. The risk that US officials see in China's response is that it could follow through on a threat to declare an air defense zone in the South China Sea. This would require passing ships and planes to identify themselves and to follow Chinese orders.
The US has said it would not abide by such a declaration by the Chinese and that's what Susan Rice is trying to head off in her trip.>> The International Court in the Hague, ruled against China in a case brought by the Philippines, saying China has no historic title over the disputed waters.
The stakes couldn't be higher with more than $5 trillion in global trade passing through the South China Sea every year.