US admiral urges China on South China Sea disputes

HONOLULU (AP) — The head of American forces in Asia and the Pacific says China should exercise its role as a regional leader and help resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Adm. Samuel Locklear said Thursday that China should abandon its recent actions to assert its claim to virtually the entire strategically important region, which he called provocative.

Locklear said that while Beijing feels it has a strong historical claim, other parties to the dispute feel equally strongly.

He told a group of journalists at the Honolulu-based East-West Center that China may have convincing arguments to make, but that it needs to put those in a modern legal framework.

He said all claimants must avoid provocative actions and then find a resolution that rules out coercion.

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