An annual Pentagon report📑 released on Monday that revealed that the 🇺🇸 military conducted "freedom of navigation" operations against 13 countries last year😮. They also conducted operations in the South & East China seas to challenge China's maritime claims . A US guided-missile destroyer🚀 conducted a freedom of navigation patrol near one of China's man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago in October. US military flights🛩 near the islands had been warned off. China's Defence ministry expressed concerns over such operations but the US defence secretary Ash Carter said that the navy🚢 would continue to operate in the region despite China's disapproval. While how many such operations were conducted against each country is unknown, the list of countries include 🇨🇳, 🇮🇳, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman, the Philippines and Vietnam. The freedom of navigation operations involves sending US Navy ships and military aircraft into areas where other countries have limited✋ access. The USA's objective was to demonstrate that the international community does not accept such restrictions. The US Navy also said that such operations would continue because of concerns of China trying to assert dominance by building military facilities there.
🔎Freedom of navigation (FON), is a principle of customary international law that, apart from the exceptions provided for in international law, ships flying the flag of any sovereign state shall not suffer interference from other states.