Obama calls on U.S. Senate to approve UNCLOS to support Asia pivot

By Toan Dao   June 4, 2016 | 08:06 am GMT+7

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged U.S. Senators to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to open ways for more engagement in the South China Sea (Vietnam’s East Sea).

More than 160 countries in the world have signed the UNCLOS since it was concluded in 1982.

“So, if we’re truly concerned about China's actions in the South China Sea (Vietnam’s East Sea), for example, the Senate should help strengthen our case by approving the Law of the Sea Convention, as our military leaders have urged,” Obama said while addressing graduating cadets of the U.S. Air Force Academy on June 2.

U.S. President Barack Obama salutes a graduate as he participates in the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., June 2, 2016. Photo by Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama salutes a graduate as he participates in the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., June 2, 2016. Photo by Reuters

Passing the Convention will help advance American leadership, he said.

Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia”, a major policy shift first outlined in 2011, is called for more engagement of the U.S. to the world’s most dynamic region. U.S. officials have repeatedly accused China of causing regional tensions in Vietnam's East Sea, but Beijing has accused Washington of militarizing the area with its "freedom of navigation" patrols.U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is preparing to give a speech in Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore which analysts believe will anger China.

At least 20 defense ministers will attend the forum, with territorial disputes in the South China Sea (Vietnam’s East Sea) being part of the agenda. The Asia's largest annual security forum begins today and will last until June 5, according to AFP.

 
 
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