Setting the Record Straight on US Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea


Ankit Panda


The Diplomat


 November 11, 2015


After more than two weeks of considering various public reports, citing mostly anonymous U.S. official sources and, notably, the skipper of the Lassen itself, experts have determined that the first U.S. freedom of navigation operation near Subi Reef was not an assertion of high seas freedom by the United States. Rather, the USS Lassen transited within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef in compliance with the innocent passage provisions outlined in Part II, Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)