China is claiming control over the vast majority of the South China Sea in its latest effort to challenge U.S. authority, and President Obama must make it clear that cannot happen, warns retired U.S. Navy Admiral James “Ace” Lyons.
The New York Times recently reported that China is quietly distributing official maps to foreign diplomats showing it controls 80 percent of the South China Sea, considerably more than it has publicly claimed in the past. Six different nations have competing claims for various parts of the sea, which is rich in oil, gas and minerals. If China were recognized as controlling 80 percent of the sea, foreign planes and ships would have to seek permission to enter those critical waters.
Lyons, who served 36 years in the U.S. Navy and completed his career as commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told WND this simply cannot be allowed to happen, and it’s incumbent upon President Obama to stop it.
“President Obama has to be very clear and let China know we will not tolerate their illegal claims to these vast ocean areas that have been recognized for centuries as international waters,” said Lyons, who argued that Obama has a golden opportunity to set things straight this week when he meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in California. “This will probably be one of the first issues discussed at the summit, and I’m sure that our allies will be watching carefully how President Obama handles this issue.”