TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The United States Department of Defense (DoD) released its latest Freedom of Navigation (FON) report on Tuesday, in which it challenged 22 countries over excessive maritime claims during fiscal year 2016.
The DoD compiles an unclassified FON report that provides summaries of the FON operations and other FON related activities conducted by U.S. forces every year.
This year’s report provided a summary of “excessive maritime claims” by 22 countries challenged by the U.S. during the period of October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016, including six of the South China Sea claimants, namely Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Thirteen out of the 22 countries in the report were challenged by the U.S. more than once, and nine of which were in Asia. Those countries are: Albania, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Venezuela and Vietnam.
The DoD stated the report challenges these claims based on principle rather than identity of the coastal State asserting the claim.
Multiple Challenges in Fiscal Year 2016 – Asia
China: “Excessive straight baselines; jurisdiction over airspace above the EEZ; restriction on foreign aircraft flying through an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) without the intent to enter national airspace; domestic law criminalizing survey activity by foreign entities in the EEZ; prior permission required for innocent passage of foreign military ships through the TTS.”
India: “Prior consent required for military exercises or maneuvers in the EEZ; security jurisdiction claimed in the contiguous zone.”
Indonesia: “Limits on archipelagic sea lane passage through normal routes used for international navigation; prior notification required for foreign warships to enter the TTS and archipelagic waters; restriction on stopping, dropping anchor, or cruising without legitimate reason in seas adjoining TTS.”
Malaysia: “Prior authorization required for nuclear–powered ships to enter the TTS; military exercises or maneuvers in the EEZ requires prior consent.”
Maldives: “Prior authorization required for foreign ships to enter the EEZ.”
Pakistan: “Prior consent required for foreign warships to conduct military exercises or maneuvers in the EEZ.”
Philippines: “Claims archipelagic waters as internal waters.”
Taiwan: “Prior notification required for foreign military or government vessels to enter the TTS.”
Vietnam: “Prior notification required for foreign warships to enter the TTS.”