“This idea of what we call freedom of navigation operations is routine. As a former naval officer I can tell you I did it many, many times myself,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby on Monday. “It’s one of the reasons you have a Navy. To be able to exert influence and defend freedom of navigation on international waters.”Kirby said one country doesn’t need to consult with another “when you are exercising the right of freedom of navigation in international waters.””The whole point of freedom of navigation in international waters is that it’s international waters and you don’t need to consult with anybody to do that. That’s the idea,” he said.But Chinese Embassy spokesperson Zhu Haiquan said, “Freedom of navigation and overflight should not be used as excuse to flex muscle and undermine other countries’ sovereignty and security.””We urge the United States to refrain from saying or doing anything provocative and act responsibly in maintaining regional peace and stability,” Haiquan said in a statement Monday night.
Legal Notes: Freedom of Navigation, as defined by US and China. How about the Philippines and nearby countries?