BEIJING Dec 5 U.S. Ambassador to China Gary
Locke said on Wednesday that the United States is seeking
clarification on China's recent announcement that its police
could board vessels in the disputed South China Sea.
The rules, which China announced last week, are unclear as
to their extent and purpose, Locke told Reuters in an interview.
"The U.S. government very much wants clarification of what
these rules mean, how they will be interpreted by the Hainan
government and marine enforcement agencies and the purpose of
these rules," Locke said on the sidelines of an investment forum
"It is really unclear, I think, to most nations," Locke
said. "First we need clarification of the extent, the purpose
and the reach of these regulations."
China lays claim to almost all of the vast sea, where
Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand also
The South China Sea, which is criss-crossed by crucial
shipping lanes, is rich in gas and oil deposits.