While such patrols are widespread in the South China Sea the place the US Navy constantly challenges China’s claims on maritime boundaries, the general public announcement of comparable patrols in Indian waters has come as a shock.
The US Navy’s seventh fleet – notorious in India for crusing into the Bay of Bengal in 1971 when the battle for liberation of Bangladesh was underway – has acknowledged in an official launch that it carried out the patrols close to the Lakshadweep Islands on Wednesday.
“India requires prior consent for military exercises or maneuvers in its exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, a claim inconsistent with international law. This freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful makes use of of the ocean acknowledged in worldwide legislation by difficult India’s extreme maritime claims,” the official launch states.
The US assertion reveals that the USS John Paul Jones, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, carried out the patrol 130 nautical miles west of the Islands. It specifically states that the mission was carried out “inside India’s exclusive economic zone, without requesting India’s prior consent, consistent with international law”.
While there isn’t any assertion but from the Indian authorities on the announcement, the US launch says that the operation aren’t about making `political statements’. “We conduct routine and regular Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs), as we have done in the past and will continue to in the future,” it reads.
The US often mentions Indian EEZ waters as areas the place it carries out such patrols in the annual Department of Defence Annual Freedom of Navigation (FON) studies however it’s uncommon that such a exact assertion a couple of explicit violation of Indian rights is issued.
As per Indian legislation, any army ship coming into its EEZ that extends 200 nautical miles from shore, has to take prior consent. There have been a number of situations in the latest previous the place Chinese analysis vessels have been noticed in Indian EEZ and have been chased away by the Navy and Coast Guard. It is unclear but if the US Navy’s intrusion of the EEZ was met with resistance from Indian forces.
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