Sullivan Applauds Recent U.S. Navy FONOP in the South China Sea
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today regarding the U.S. Navy’s recent freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea – near Mischief Reef.
"I applaud Secretary of Defense Mattis, PACOM Commander Admiral Harris and the men and women of the USS Dewey for their recent freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea near Mischief Reef,” said Senator Sullivan. “We should continue to conduct such FONOPs in this critically important area of the world on a regular basis with our allies – and fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows. China has no recognized international legal claim to this reef – or numerous others it has militarized – in the South China Sea."
Senator Sullivan has been a vocal critic of China’s militarization of the South China Sea. In July 2016, Senator Sullivan delivered the keynote address at the Center for Strategic and International Study’s 6th Annual South China Sea Conference, where he highlighted the need for the U.S. to strengthen economic ties and military partnerships with its regional partners and to regularly navigate the disputed areas of the South China Sea to preserve the freedom of navigation in international waters – including areas like Mischief Reef.