Freedoms of Navigation in the Asia-Pacific Region : Strategic, Political and Legal Factors book cover
1st Edition

Freedoms of Navigation in the Asia-Pacific Region
Strategic, Political and Legal Factors

ISBN 9781032240404
Published December 13, 2021 by Routledge
122 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $26.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The need for freedoms of navigation in regional waters is frequently mentioned in statements from regional forums, but a common understanding of what constitutes a particular freedom of navigation or the relevant law is lacking.

This book discusses how law, politics and strategy intersect to provide different perspectives of freedoms on navigation in the Asia-Pacific region. These freedoms are very important in this distinctively maritime region, but problems arise over interpreting the navigational regimes under the law of the sea, especially with regard to the rights of foreign warships to transit another country’s territorial sea without prior notification or authorisation of the coastal state, and with determining the availability of high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight in an exclusive economic zone. The book explores these issues, referring in particular to the position of the main protagonists on these issues in Asian waters – the United States and China – with their strongly opposing views. The book concludes with a discussion of the prospects for either resolving these different perspectives or for developing confidence-building measures that would reduce the risks of maritime incidents.

Providing a comprehensive yet concise overview of the various different factors affecting freedom of navigation, this book will be a valuable resource for those working or studying in the fields of international relations, maritime security and the law of the sea.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Author’s Biography

List of Figures and Tables

List of Abbreviations



Chapter One – Introduction



Setting the Scene

Special Features

Sovereignty Disputes

Development of the Freedoms of Navigation

Freedoms of Navigation in East Asia


Chapter Two – Navigational Regimes


Innocent Passage

Transit Passage

Archipelagic Sea Lanes Passage

Normal Mode of Transit


Chapter Three – Exclusive Economic Zone Issues



Development of the EEZ Regime

The EEZ as International Waters

Vexed Issues

Way Forward

Chapter Four – Building Understandings and Confidence


Different Perspectives

Conflicting Maritime Strategies

Maritime Confidence Building Measures

Ambiguities and Uncertainties

U.S. Freedom of Navigation Program


Final Thoughts

View More



Sam Bateman retired from the Royal Australian Navy as a Commodore (one-star) and is now a Professorial Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong, Australia.