12 March 2021

Annual Freedom of Navigation Report, Fiscal Year 2020

Report to Congress, Annual Freedom of Navigation Report, Fiscal Year 2020 (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 27 January 2021).

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The Annual DoD FON Report

Every year, DoD releases an unclassified report identifying the excessive maritime claims that U.S. forces operationally challenged over the last fiscal year.

Below is a summary of excessive maritime claims that DoD challenged during the period of October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020, to preserve the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations by international law. In sum, the United States challenged the excessive maritime claims of 19 claimants. Many excessive claims were challenged multiple times. The report cites each claimants’ specific laws, regulations, and other proclamations articulating the excessive maritime claims in brackets. To maintain the operational security of U.S. military forces, the DoD Annual FON Report includes only general geographic information on the location of operational challenges.

For the most up-to-date list of all excessive maritime claims made around the world, as well as the years U.S. forces operationally challenged those claims under the FON Program, see the DoD Maritime Claims Reference Manual (MCRM), available online at www.jag.navy.mil/organization/code_10_mcrm.htm. [CLICK TO SEE “CHINA, JANUARY 2017” ENTRY AND “CHINA: STRAIGHT BASELINE CLAIM” CHART THERE.] The MCRM tracks the maritime claims of 158 claimants around the world. Individual entries are updated on a continual basis and may not reflect all excessive maritime claims. Specific inquiries may be directed to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy via DoD Public Affairs.

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