The U.S. military sent a warship in defiance of maritime territorial claims of India, a fellow member of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). New Delhi has objected to the action, as both countries emphasize a focus on geopolitics across Asia and its strategic oceans. According to a statement by the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet released on Wednesday, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones “asserted navigational rights and freedoms approximately 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands, inside India’s exclusive economic zone, without requesting India’s prior consent, consistent with international law.” The Arabian Sea islands are located roughly 120 to 270 miles off the southwestern coast of mainland India. The 7th Fleet acknowledged that the maneuvers constituted a challenge to India’s claims, as “India requires prior consent for military exercises or maneuvers in its exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, a claim inconsistent with international law,” according to the statement. The operation, known as a freedom of navigation operations (FONOP), “upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging India’s excessive maritime claims,” the 7th Fleet said. U.S. warships have conducted similar operations challenging claims of other countries, including a… Read full this story
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