Essay Example on Freedom of Navigation

Published: 2023-01-05
Essay Example on Freedom of Navigation
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States International relations World Foreign policy
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1184 words
10 min read


The U.S Freedom of Navigation (FON) was in establishments in several decades ago about 20 years after the Second World War (Fruhling 2009). The international laws are meant to provide freedom of seas and aircraft lawful uses to facilitate global mobility. It is a law that is connected to the Law of Sea Convection, which legalizes an innocent exploration and freedom to the sea of other states (Wirth 2018). Back in 1983 Australian had strategic guidance on the freedom and right to have a navigation operation (Fruhling 2009). There have been past noted issues on the issue, and most importantly the documentation and permission to have access to other air and waters areas to other countries. The USA has the policy to assert such kind of navigations in a manner that is aligned with the balance of interest. There have been current issues that relate to claims in countries like China, Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia among others, have discouraged such freedom regarding navigation with challenges. The states are disregarding the USA FONOPs operation. In consideration, that the USA has had a close relationship with Australia, and the report made by Morrison about the fulfilling interest of Australia, several dynamics are varying from different spheres.

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Consider USA FONOPs

In 1983, Reagan, by then the president of the USA spelled out that the United State would exercise rights and freedom of the seas to balance the interest of both states (Wirth 2018). However, there ware some deviation from some leaders in several places in the worst particular the China region and other parts of the Asian Continents (Abenheim et al. 2018, p.399). According to the Connection Sea Laws, a country can freely exercise the freedom to sea and ocean all over the world in an honest manner. Also, a state would have to raise a flag will nearing states owned waters to signify peaceful navigation. However, there has been massive claims about sea navigation as it is seen as a way to undermine a country's army and power. The naval vessels and other warships on air and waters needed security supervision from the countries being approached. Even though several times in making countries understand the main ideas in navigation countries ad United Nations that intervened in the Scenario (Abenheim et al. 2018, p.400).

Most Asian countries have blamed the USA in its freedom to exercise the freedom of navigation. On the contrary, some parts like east China have n-blame countries like India for their routine transit to pieces of China. They have mentioned that the USA is the only country that conducts FONOP operations in the best manner (The Maritime Executive, 2019). However, there have risen interest in south China people about leaving their waters under their control. The United Nation intervened through the UNCLOS and have decided to have an international control that only allows a rage or a margin of 12 nautical miles to areas that have problems such as the disputed Islands (The Maritime Executive 2019).

As a result, the US has condemned such claims since they are a refrain that discourages trade, coexistence, and exploration to natural features. Article 8 of the LOSC states that country shall not deny an innocent passage of aircraft and naval vessel unless while in permission of assistance or rescue (The Maritime Executive 2019). A state is responsible and also have the right to report an act that seems to violate the territorial sea innocent passage. The might wish to have free navigation with a negative and positive intention. China is not clear about what the USA would intend to do. Still, there is no clarity on the magnitude of passage (South China Morning Post, 2019).

Current Issues between China and USA

There have been a series of trade wars between these two countries. Military and political relationship of these two countries does not match as they used to (South China Morning Post, 2019. There have there been issues with the imposition of trade tariffs between the two countries. A report made in 2017 revealed that China is alleging the using construction of artificial military aircraft, an allegation that violates the UNCLOS guidelines on international maritime laws (Hutchens 2019).

Austrian Naval Navigation Deployment

Australian wish to have free navigation have also lead to several claims and allegations. However, it is all clear to the state and leaders that the naval deployments are of good intentions. China has alleged the country on the involvement in transit to the economic, territorial zone, and they also deployed several navies to the waters. The department of defense has also been informed several times to leave the South Asian waters. The most problem with the south china parts is the disputes between China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the Philippines that have gained higher levels of tension. If the USA and Australia maintain the status quo, China will react in the same manner. Despite wary involvement by the Australian government, there have been little consideration and effort noted from the claims and tension. The USA is not also exceptional in the claims mention by China.

Australia-USA Relationship

Australia has had ties with the United States of American, and the union has made the Australia-New Zealand- US (ANZUS) and Five Power Defense Agreements (FPDA) more significant (Abenheim et al. 4001). The United State is entitled to conduct passage and transit over the seas as portrayed by the UNCLOS. The United State is then the country that can challenge the maritime claim in strategic communications, inter0-trade consultation, and operational assertions.


Following the past issues with the USA and China and FONOPS, Australia should not consider sending naval vessels to the south of China since even the mandated country is warned to interfere with the waters. The state may try to bring in bilateral and multilateral trade, but military involvement might spark the cold war into a real fight. The fact that Europe, United State, and Australia have a relationship they should the country should not show any interest in waters navigation like expected from the USA too. The islands in dispute might be the main problems that make China aggressive, and therefore the ministry might consider rethinking on urging the Pentagon official on such issue at times that the situation is on a climax.

Reference List

Wirth, C., 2018. Whose 'Freedom of Navigation'? Australia, China, the United States and the making of an order in the 'Indo-Pacific.' The Pacific Review, pp.1-30.

Fruhling, S., 2009. A History of Australian Strategic Policy Since 1945. Canberra: Department of Defence.

Abenheim, D., Gingeras, R., Russell, J.A., Wirtz, J.J., Young, T.D. and Twomey, C., 2018. American sea power in the contemporary security environment. Comparative Strategy, 37(5), pp.391-403.

South China Morning Post. (2019). The US steps up the freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Apr. 2019].

The Maritime Executive. (2019). U.S. FONOPS Aren't Just About the South China Sea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Apr. 2019].

Hutchens, G. (2019). Australia should not join the US in South China Sea operations, says retired defense chief. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 19 Apr. 2019].

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