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US challenged 28 maritime claims made by 19 countries in 2020

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The United States will uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea for the benefit of all nations—and will stand with like-minded partners doing the same

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Washington, March 10: US forces operationally challenged 28 different excessive maritime claims made by 19 different claimants throughout the world in year 2020.

Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims—or incoherent legal theories of maritime entitlements—that are inconsistent with customary international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention pose a threat to the legal foundation of the rules-based international order.

” The United States will uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea for the benefit of all nations—and will stand with like-minded partners doing the same,”stated the Department of Defense (DoD) released its annual Freedom of Navigation 2020.

The Freedom of Navigation operations or “FON assertions”complements diplomatic engagements by the US and supports the longstanding U.S. national interest in freedom of the seas worldwide.

Consequently, the United States confronts this threat by challenging excessive maritime claims.

The comprehensive, regular, and routine execution of these operations complements diplomatic engagements by the U.S. State Department and supports the longstanding U.S. national interest in freedom of the seas worldwide.

Upholding freedom of navigation as a principle supports unimpeded lawful commerce and the global mobility of U.S. forces. FONOPs demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows—regardless of the location of excessive maritime claims and regardless of current events.

“Excessive maritime claims” are those that are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention. They include a variety of restrictions on the exercise of navigation and overflight rights and freedoms and other lawful uses of the sea. If left unchallenged, excessive maritime claims could limit the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the United States and other nations.

As long as restrictions on navigation and overflight rights and freedoms that exceed the authority provided under international law persist, the United States will continue to challenge such unlawful maritime claims.

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