The Commander of US Navy’s seventh fleet, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, has said that the US Navy will contest any excessive claims in the South China Sea. Speaking at a press conference in Sydney on the eve of the Malabar naval exercise, Vice Admiral Thomas said,
“We sail quiet regularly in the South China Sea…presence matters, being out there to be able to maintain some peace some stability in that area is important to challenge claims that may be or not whether in violation or certainly don’t fall align with the United Nations Convention of the Sea.”
“So we have to, have to be there, to contest those excessive claims. We have to do what the US Navy does which is free the navigation ups to contest those excessive claims.”
He further added,
“As we operate Malabar it gives us that capability and that tactical interoperability to get to go up there and sail comfortably to ensure that a body of water, the south china sea, which is home to a tremendous amount of trade for the world stays free and stays open.”
Rear Admiral Christopher Smith, Commander Australian Fleet, also said that a large portion of the earth is covered by water and a large portion of it is not owned by any individual sovereign country.
Exercise Malabar is an annual maritime exercise that enhances planning, training, and employment of advanced warfare tactics between – Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Indian Navy (IN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and U.S. Navy.
This is for the first time that exercise Malabar is being conducted in Australia. The ten-day exercise aims to deepen the interoperability between key partners, Australia, India, Japan and the United States who are also members of the Quad or the Quadrilateral security dialogue.
Source : TheAustraliaToday