The Obama administration began a new push on Thursday to ratify the Law of the Sea Convention, Reuters reported. The 30-year-old treaty, which has been ratified by more than 160 countries, establishes a 12-nautical-mile (22-km) territorial sea and 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone around coastal states. Opponents are concerned it would cede US sovereignty to an internaitonal organization, while proponents said it would strengthen the administration's hand in dealing with rising powers such as Russia and China. "China and other countries are staking out illegal claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere," said Senator John Kerry, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. "Becoming a party to the treaty would give an immediate boost to US credibility as we push back against excessive maritime claims and illegal restrictions on our warships or commercials vessels."