It is time for the Law of the Sea Treaty to die, it is 30 years old and was not ratified for good reasons. Today's circumstances make it less attractive than ever. China has emerged as a major power, ratifying the treaty now would cause nothing but strife and constrain U.S. naval activities, and do nothing to resolve China's expansive maritime territorial claims.
China wants to keep America's military out of its "Exclusive Economic Zone," this zone is an invention of the treaty that affords coastal states control over economic activity in areas beyond China's territorial limits. Properly read, LOST recognizes exclusive economic zones as international waters, but China is exploiting the treaty's ambiguities to declare "no go" zones in regions where centuries of state practice clearly permit unrestricted maritime activity.
China has claimed it can regulate (prohibit) all US intelligence and naval activity in the zone. They do this by saying U.S. naval vessels pollution are an activity the treaty permits coastal states to regulate past what is their current territorial waters.
China wants to deny American access to its nearby waters so it can have its way with its neighbors. Beijing is building a network of "anti-access" and "area denial" weapons such as integrated air defenses, submarines, land-based ballistic and cruise missiles, and cyber and anti-satellite systems designed to make it exceedingly hazardous for American ships and aircraft to traverse China's exclusive zone or peripheral seas.
If the Senate ratifies the treaty, we would become subject to its dispute-resolution mechanisms and ambiguities and backdoor the Kyoto protocol into law.
This dispute is not China simply does not want the U.S. military to gather intelligence near its shores and other nations quietly support China's position, including Russia, Iran, Brazil and India.
Given China's incessant incursions into the exclusive zones of other Asian nations such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, these states may seek to restrict international maritime activities in their exclusive zones as well, further complicating U.S. efforts.
Why in the world is Obama trying to shove this one down our throats.