The US Navy has challenged the Indian government’s claim for a special economic zone in the sea near Lakshadweep. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said it conducted the Freedom of Navigation Operation inside India’s Special Economic Zone near Lakshadweep without obtaining permission from India. This statement by the US Navy is a direct violation of India’s maritime security policy under which authorization is required for such exercises. The Indian government is now watching this controversial statement by America closely.
The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet issued a statement saying: “On April 7, the warship USS John Paul Jones demonstrated its rights and naval freedom over Indian territory 130 nautical miles from Lakshadweep without obtaining permission from India. This is in accordance with international laws. India’s assertion that the military must receive advance information prior to military exercises or movements in its special economic zone does not correspond to international law.
This statement by the US Navy will increase its tensions with India, as the two are strategic allies close to each other. At the same time, they also oppose the Chinese Dadagiri in the South China Sea. Not only that, India and America have been doing naval exercises throughout the year. The US Navy has also stated that we conduct normal and often free navigation operations and will continue to do so.
The US Navy has said the freedom of navigation operation is not about a country and does not make political statements. There is no statement yet from the Indian Navy or the Foreign Office on this American Dadagiri. Earlier at the Quad Country Leaders’ Meeting, the focus was on enhancing freedom of navigation throughout the Indian Pacific region.