India’s move to challenge “excessive maritime claims” is sure to upset New Delhi.
The guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) passed through the Arabian Gulf, October 27, 2020.
Credit: Flickr / US Navy’s official site
According to the US Seventh Fleet, the USS John Paul Jones launched a free navigation operation near the Indian Lakshadweep Islands on April 7. The Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer “asserted rights and freedom of navigation about 130 nautical miles from the Lakshadweep archipelago to the west. , within India’s exclusive economic zone, without requiring India’s prior consent, in accordance with international law, ” a statement from the Fleet stated.
“India requires prior consent for military exercises or exercises in its exclusive economic zone [EEZ] or the continental shelf, a claim that is not consistent with international law. This freedom of navigation (“FONOP”) maintains the rights, freedoms and legal uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging India’s undue maritime claims, ” explanation statement.
This is not the first time the United States has challenged India’s view that it must be informed before foreign navies pass through its SEZs. Maintenance experts that to further promote Indo-US maritime cooperation, it is imperative to develop a shared and shared understanding of international maritime law.
But the reality is that FONOP plays out in the midst of deepening maritime cooperation with the US – and the widespread enthusiasm in New Delhi’s strategic community about Quad’s potential in developing a security architecture. for the Indo-Pacific – potentially adding complexity. At the very least, it proves that the United States is still concerned about what it describes as India’s “excessive maritime claim” over the Indo-Pacific – and not just by China in the zone. field.
“We conduct Free Navigation Activities (FONOP) regularly and regularly, as we have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future. FONOP is not about a country, nor about making political statements, ”noted the 7th Fleet’s statement on the Lakshadweep FONOP Islands.
On April 7, USS John Paul Jones also proceeded FONOP “in the vicinity” of the Maldives, “by undertaking blameless travel through its territorial sea and normal operations within its exclusive economic zone without prior authorization, in accordance with International law.”
This “freedom of navigation” (“FONOP”) maintains the rights, freedoms and legitimate use of waters recognized by international law by challenging the undue maritime claims of the Maldives, ” Notice also active notification statement.
At the time of the story, neither the Indian Foreign Affairs nor the Defense Department released any official statements about the US FONOP.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited New Delhi last month amid deepening defense ties with India, meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior security leaders. security and defense of India. On March 12, the Biden administration held the first Quad Leaders’ summit. This event has led many to hope that the group will be able to link together effectively in response to the growing Chinese intrusion across the Indo-Pacific and in the South China Sea, especially. is where the US regularly performs FONOP to challenge China’s expansion of the “nine-dash line” maritime claims.