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Thread: Chinese ships "harass" american naval ship

  1. #1

    Default Chinese ships "harass" american naval ship

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/wa..._r=1&ref=world



    China Harassed U.S. Ship, the Pentagon Says

    By THOM SHANKER
    Published: March 9, 2009
    WASHINGTON — The United States has lodged a formal protest with the government in Beijing, saying five Chinese ships harassed an American surveillance vessel in international waters, in actions the Pentagon described as illegal, unprofessional and dangerous.

    The incident took place on Sunday about 75 miles off the coast of Hainan island, just south of the Chinese mainland. The American vessel, the Impeccable, was carrying out a surveillance mission that involved towing sonar equipment designed for anti-submarine warfare, Pentagon officials said.

    The Chinese vessels sailed within 25 feet of the American ship, waved flags and ordered the Impeccable to leave, Pentagon officials said. Two of the Chinese ships blocked the Impeccable after it requested safe transit, while Chinese sailors dropped pieces of wood in its path and tried to hook the cables towing the sonar equipment, the officials said.

    The Impeccable crew sprayed some of the Chinese sailors with a fire hose. Some of the Chinese sailors stripped to their underwear.

    The officials said the Chinese ships appeared to be a naval intelligence vessel, two smaller trawlers, a fisheries patrol boat and an official oceanographic ship.

    The Impeccable did not carry large-caliber weapons and was operated by civilians for the Military Sealift Command, Pentagon officials said.

    The surveillance mission, focused on undersea warfare, may be of particular interest to the Chinese military, which has invested heavily in a new fleet of diesel-powered attack submarines. Pentagon officials say that while the diesel variety is not as potent as the Navy’s nuclear fast-attack submarines, the submarines are cheaper and can be purchased in greater numbers, giving the Chinese the potential to overwhelm American defenses at sea.

    The Pentagon officials stressed that the incident was a worrisome violation of standard rules of conduct at sea.

    The American Embassy in Beijing has lodged an official protest, and the Pentagon repeated the complaint to the Chinese defense attaché in Washington, officials said.

    Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, denounced the Chinese actions as “reckless, dangerous and unprofessional.”

    The incident, less than two months after the inauguration of President Obama, immediately drew comparisons to Chinese actions just weeks into the first term of President George W. Bush.

    In April 2001, a Chinese jet-fighter buzzed a Navy surveillance airplane in international airspace over the South China Sea, causing a midair collision that killed the Chinese pilot and resulted in the detention of the 24-member American crew for 11 days after their plane made an emergency landing on Hainan island.

    That episode presented the new Bush administration with its first foreign policy challenge.

    Mr. Obama will have an opportunity to discuss Sunday’s incident with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, when the two meet next month in London at a Group of 20 session of global economic powers.

    The American government also complained about aggressive Chinese behavior at sea in 2006, when one of China’s new Song-class conventional submarines remained undetected as it shadowed the American aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Although the exact details of the encounter remain the subject of debate, Navy officials said the Chinese submarine surfaced well within torpedo range of the Kitty Hawk.
    So much for Sino-American cooperation and friendship. So what do you make of this confrontation? Is it a juvinile act by a bunch of bored chinese sailors on a random American target? Or is it a beginning of a new policy of Chinese ships and crews targeting western ships in International waters? Is it a test to confirm the weakness of the Obama administration on foreign policy?

    Parlez-vous!
    Last edited by MysteriousVisitor; 11-Mar-2009 at 05:23.

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    Exactly what I was thinking. Biden is a much more astute politician then Obama is. He surely saw this coming. Obama's cave on eastern European missile defense probably emboldened the Chinese to try something like this.

    I am interested to see weather this incident will prove to be an isolated incident or a start of a new pattern in Sino-American relations.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkmaster View Post
    Obama's cave on eastern European missile defense probably emboldened the Chinese to try something like this.
    Two ways to read this "cave":
    1. SDI/StarWars has made it to prime-time and we've ougrown Imperialistic land-grabbing for missile bases...
    2. SDI/StarWars is a no-go and we've gone for a more localized intercept strategy.


    Or, (3): We're bluffing. This might work, but God help us if we don't have anything to back it up with. I certainly wouldn't want to look myself in the mirror if this were the case.



    Quote Originally Posted by sparkmaster View Post
    I am interested to see weather this incident will prove to be an isolated incident or a start of a new pattern in Sino-American relations.
    New?

    I'm actually surprised that the Chinese haven't been a larger cyber-warfare presence in the world, and I'm surprised that they've not called in their debt markers in full. Then again, I suppose it's better to bleed the elephant slowly; that way, you get to kill it many times over.

    I'm pleased that such restraint was demonstrated. This could have gone badly for everyone involved. I'm sure that every man on that ship had the words International Incident running through their minds.


  5. #5

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    In my thoughts, I think the Chinese wanna play cat and mouse with us, their technology vs ours, or they just want to try to open up a Pandora's Box. I dunnknow. The Chinese have long wanted to be a world power, and they pretty much are becoming one right now.

    I remember reading stuff about Soviet ships harassing American ships back when the Soviets were still around. It's really nothing new.

    WildThing121675

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildThing121675 View Post
    I remember reading stuff about Soviet ships harassing American ships back when the Soviets were still around. It's really nothing new.

    WildThing121675
    Agreed. And that's the source of my second, darker, observation.

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    To be honest we would harass Soviet warships also. At that time it was part of the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valentine View Post
    To be honest we would harass Soviet warships also. At that time it was part of the game.
    Yeah, we would have all of our submarines that were tracking ships send out a "LOL, I'm behind you, and I have torpedoes" ping all at once around the world. Just cause we could.

    Perhaps this is all a plan to pull us out of the depression, go to war with China. Good enough for FDR, good enough for Obama.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babymullet Ver 9.8 View Post
    Yeah, we would have all of our submarines that were tracking ships send out a "LOL, I'm behind you, and I have torpedoes" ping all at once around the world. Just cause we could.

    Perhaps this is all a plan to pull us out of the depression, go to war with China. Good enough for FDR, good enough for Obama.
    It's funny that you should mention that tactic, as an article I read earlier today stated that a chinese conventional sub surfaced well within torpedo range of one of our Carrier Battle Groups. (Inside the outer perimeter) O.O

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Snap View Post
    It's funny that you should mention that tactic, as an article I read earlier today stated that a chinese conventional sub surfaced well within torpedo range of one of our Carrier Battle Groups. (Inside the outer perimeter) O.O
    Assuming that that is true. The question becomes, did we know they were there and not let them know that we knew, or did we not know.

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