In the Spratlys, the routine exercise of freedom of navigation is vastly preferable to the reactive FONOP.
Latest in Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP)
This week, the United States navy carried out what may be its first Freedom of Navigation Exercises (FONOPs) in the South China Sea since President Trump took office, just a few days after a close encounter between American and Chinese aircraft.
The Dewey challenged China’s claim of “indisputable sovereignty” to Mischief Reef as one of the features in the South China Sea and China’s claim of “adjacent” waters surrounding it.
The US Conducts the First South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operation of the Trump Era, But It Was “Off the Record”
The Trump administration may have authorized its first "freedom of navigation operation" in the South China Sea, but no U.S. government officials will go on the record to provide details.
U.S. Defense Department Confirms USS Decatur Did Not Follow Innocent Passage and Challenged China’s Excessive Straight Baselines
An update on the USS Decatur’s freedom of navigation operation near the China-occupied Paracel Islands last month.
Is Mischief Reef the next step for U.S. FON operations?
Water Wars is a weekly roundup of the latest news, analysis, and opinions related to ongoing tensions in the South and East China Seas.
To understand the implications of the recent U.S. FONOP near the Paracel Islands, it is worth stepping back to consider the diplomatic and legal context.
The Latest US Freedom of Navigation Operation Opens the Legal Door to More Aggressive US Challenges to China’s Artificial Islands
The USS Decatur's FONOP in the South China Sea last week openly and decisively rejected a Chinese claim of maritime sovereignty near the Paracel Islands, thereby opening the legal door to a more aggressive US challenge to China’s island-building in the South China Sea.