The US “Excessive Maritime Claims”: A Critical Analysis

China International Studies (English) - - News - Bao Yinan

Since the Freedom of Navigation Program was proposed in 1979,1 successive governments of the United States have continued to strengthen their position through a series of official documents, put forward the so-called “excessive maritime claims” theory and, in practice, took the “two-pronged approach,” using both diplomatic channels and regular “Freedom of Navigation operations” to protest and challenge other countries’ “excessive maritime claims.” It has been proved that this set of theories and practices of the United States, which is not a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, cannot really maintain the authority and integrity of the Convention. At present, the domestic academia has yielded rich research on several theoretical and practical issues of international maritime law involving the “freedom of navigation.” Researchers have had some preliminary analysis on the practice of the US Freedom of Navigation Program and related issues of international law and international politics. However, the Chinese academia’s analysis on the “excessive maritime claims,” which is the theoretical basis for “Freedom of Navigation operations,” has not been deep enough, and studies on the characteristics and essence of these operations has not been sufficient. “Freedom of Navigation operations” is the practice of the “excessive maritime claims” theory, thus the two are inseparable. It is necessary to combine

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