Special to WorldTribune.com
Senior Obama administration officials last week urged the Senate to approve a bill authorizing the U.S. to become a party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Doing so, they said, would better deter China’s “excessive” claims in the Western Pacific region.
“As a non-party, we cede the legal high ground to China,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“We put ourselves on the defensive. We are not as strong an advocate for our friends and allies in the region as I would like us to be, and I don’t think that’s any place for the world’s pre-eminent maritime power to find ourselves,” she told a key Senate panel.
The Law of the Sea convention was drafted in the early 1980s. So far, some 160 countries, including China, have signed it. But the U.S. has not.
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