Breaking News

Chinese sailors moon U.S. spy ship

From The Daily Telegraph:

In what a Pentagon official described as a "bizarre" incident, Chinese crew members on board one vessel bared their bottoms after the USNS Impeccable had sprayed them with hoses.

Pentagon officials said the incident on Sunday followed several days of "increasingly aggressive" acts by Chinese ships in the region. The incident took place in the South China Sea, about 75 miles south of China's Hainan island.

"Five Chinese vessels shadowed and aggressively maneuvered in dangerously close proximity to USNS Impeccable while it was conducting routine operations in international waters," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Both the Chinese and American ships seem to be slightly dodgy not-quite-official-navy vessels with plausibly deniable missions. This is how The New York Times described the ships:

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 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.

There's nothing about the incident on Xinhua as of 8:30am this morning. The New York Times reports that the "United States has lodged a formal protest with the government in Beijing".

UPDATE

After seeing images of some of the ships involved, one has to question what kind of men sail on the good ship Impeccable.

This is the U.S. vessel, looking like something in which a James Bond villain would plan world domination:



These are the Chinese ships that harassed it:




UPDATE 2:

A Mainland media source has reported the incident: the Global Times, owned by The People's Daily and often called jingoistic, today published an article on their website about the incident: America says survey ship surrounded and harrassed in South China Sea (in Chinese).

Xinhua has not reported the incident yet.

UPDATE 3

Time-stamped 2009-03-10 15:18, Xinhua has at last reported the story on their English website, although the report is nowhere to be found in Chinese: China says U.S. naval ship breaks int'l, Chinese law.

Also, here is a detailed report on 'FAS Strategic Security Blog' that seems to know what it is talking about: US-Chinese Anti-Submarine Cat and Mouse Game in South China Sea.

UPDATE 4:

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Sea encounter prompts vow by U.S., China

March 12, 2009—Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and China Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meet in Washington and agree to try to avoid future incidents.

Links and Sources
There are currently 73 Comments for Chinese sailors moon U.S. spy ship.

Comments on Chinese sailors moon U.S. spy ship

Please remember,this happened 75 miles off the coast of Hainan island, just south of the CHINESE mainland.If this happens outside the American's door,what will Pentagon say?

i think, hold on, yeah, my feelings are kinda hurt. who's with me?

Please continue to follow this story. I'm very curious how Beijing will explain the dangerous schoolboy tricks of its nincompoop sailors, and I wonder how the Chinese public will respond to the official story that's released in China.

The Washington Post article on this is here.

"Stand Navy out to sea
Fight our battle cry:
We'll never change our course
So vicious foes steer shy-y-y-y
Roll out the T. N. T.
Anchors Aweigh
Sail on to victory
And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!"

GO USA!!!!!!!!

Anonymous: "If this happens outside the American's door,what will Pentagon say?"

Good point, and not only the Pentagon. Imagine the outrage on Fox and other American nationalist media if a Chinese spy ship was caught trawling around the coast of California.

Anyone got a video of the mooning ?

They supposedly stripped to their undies but I don't think there was any mooning. There's a photo from the AP showing the fishing boat and two people on deck. The official US line has the fishing trawler harassing the 5,500 ton vessel.

Looking at pictures of the USNS Impeccable I can see it isn’t a recreational yacht. Exclusive Economic Zones run out to 200 miles from a country’s coastline. No foreign surveillance ship, let alone a foreign navy one, should be making measurements or readings of some other country’s zone. How do the Chinese know whether that sophisticated US Navy ship wasn’t trying to tap into underground telephone/internet cables or placing monitoring devices in the surrounding sea?

They're really shooting their image in the foot (again) with this one, especially given the number of people in America who are convinced China will start world war 3 soon.

Rings of Monty Python

The Impeccable's crew is lucky they didn't end up the way the crew of the USS Pueblo did some years ago. From what little we know about the ship's position off Hainan Island, where China has a big military presence, including a key base for its new nuclear subs, I'd dare say the Chinese PLA ships were just defending their home turf. Anonymous was correct, if that had been a Chinese ship off San Diego or Bainbridge, etc. we'd have been all over it.

That's right... It's only fair. Cos everyone knowzzz da U.S is the big dude on the block and big dawg on the block gets to set the rules. (In all seriousness... they were in Int' water so what is the big fuss? Sure, it's in your backyard but still)

So you commies just STFU already.

Soon as we find the formulas for FOGBANK again shit bitches watchout. Hmm, Fogbank... I think I vaporized something like that last weekend.. damn.

"Good point, and not only the Pentagon. Imagine the outrage on Fox and other American nationalist media if a Chinese spy ship was caught trawling around the coast of California."---Jeremy Goldkorn

I don't believe this is actually Mr. J G's comment but should it be I think you should be ashamed of yourself.

The U.S. media isn't nationalistic...it is business-centric infotainment. FOX is no more a violator than CNN, NBC, and the like. Stop picking on FOX because their audience is bigger than DANWEI'S.

SGT. SLAUGHTER:

Welcome back to Danwei baby, been a while.

I know it's unfair of Danwei to pick on Fox. They are just no match for us. But I think you should be more worried that your brave sailors were intimidated by some rinky-dink fishing boats.

@ anonymous and jeremy

the incident occurred well within international waters. the pentagon wouldn't do anything under similar circumstances, nor would they have the authority to under international law. these types of situations occurred frequently during the cold war.

I hope these 'mooners' are in the military parade on National Day

This incident was deliberately orchestrated to divert media attention from Tibet, because I don't believe in coincidence of this magnitude.

"The U.S. media isn't nationalistic...it is business-centric infotainment. FOX is no more a violator than CNN, NBC, and the like. Stop picking on FOX because their audience is bigger than DANWEI'S. "

---am not sure whether in the paper version, NYTimes used any of the photos.... if you read the article, defintely you get the business-centric idea that Chinese ships again attempted to attack the almighty american floating territory.

People cannot be fooled any more that U.S. media are only business-centric.

If a Chinese ship looking like the "Impeccable" is 75 miles off of the California coast, the brave men from our Navy better harass the hell out of the Chinese ship including mooning the Chinese if necessary.

Who knows what the Chinese would be doing? They will probably bug our underwater cables or plant surveillance devices.

If anything, the US Navy has a duty to harass the Chinese Impeccable and chase it far and away from our coastline. Who cares if it's international waters.

@Dave

They still occur frequently. I have a friend from Oahu in Hawaii and they'd get local news reports of Russian spy ships disguised as fishing ships that would periodically come and then get escorted out by US frigates. There's also the spat China has with Japan over those islands with oil underneath or the Iranian speed boat incident a while back with a US battle group in the Strait of Hormuz.

"But I think you should be more worried that your brave sailors were intimidated by some rinky-dink fishing boats."---Jeremy Goldkorn

Good to be back Sir. Always fun.

Rinky dink or not the U.S. ship was/is unarmed. The Chinese ships while small in relation to the U.S. ship they could have caused significant damage and cost lives. How are the actions of these "rinky-dinks" any different from terrorists?

I doubt that the U.S. as you call it was "intimidated".

The main point you are missing is this sir: you can't have it both ways.

If the U.S. were to retaliate, the Chinese and the rest of the world would cry that we fine Yanks are bullying poor, lovable, innocent, never inflammatory China.

If we follow the rules and report stupid behavior by those terrorizing us unprovoked then we are being wusses? How can we ever win? And that's what it is all about right: Winning?

Brave soldiers we do have, and since it is the Lenten Season I think they will grant you forgiveness for your ridicule buddy. If however you dare to call the U.S. current administration a bunch of wusses...well, then go right ahead. I will second that motion.

***Lastly, I agree with you about FOX but we have to keep it interesting and give them a fair fight.

The debate over what the US would do in this situation or whether or not the boats were scary enough are all missing the point. Also, the question of who is violating international law is pretty moot as well since neither side really cares, and both regularly violate international law as a matter of policy. What bothers me the most is the extremely unprofessional manner of the Chinese vessels. Collision courses, sudden stoppages, and other dangerous maneuvers, all with non-military ships (save one) creates the potential for a major diplomatic incident and the loss of life.

Yeah, if they keep this up we'll have a Wang Wei of the sea pretty soon.

I'm wondering if the fact that I haven't seen any Chinese media coverage yet actually means, perversely, that it IS a big deal to them, and they're working extra hard on figuring out the official line.

One wonders about Jeremy Goldkorn's experience with the so-called "nationalist media" here in the U.S. On its worst day, Fox News is far better than the best of the Chinese media - better than CCTV; better than 環球時報; better than 南方周末; better even than 鳳凰衛視. I dream of the day when the Chinese media is as even-handed as Fox. (That said, I hate Fox.)

Consider this, Jeremy - while I've been able to follow news of this event on CCTV and 鳳凰衛視 here in Cambridge, MA, the average Chinese has no direct access to the U.S. point-of-view. In short, I'm quite sure that if the situation were reversed (i.e., a Chinese naval vessel was discovered mapping the seabed off the the coast of California and then run-off by the U.S. navy), the incident would receive more objective treatment by the U.S. media than today's incident will receive tomorrow in China. I can't wait to read 環球時報.

As far as the Chinese sailors stripping down to their tighty whities - is this an example of "naked aggression"?

The unarmed UNS Impeccable was being operated by a civilian crew, not "brave sailors" as Jeremy Goldkorn suggests. In any case, what if the ship had been accompanied by an armed carrier group? And what if the 5 Chinese boats had been summarily sunk and their crews killed? Would that have passed as an act of bravery? I, for one, am glad that no one was killed earlier today. Things might have gone a lot worse. And as for the Chinese vessel passing within 25 meters of the Impeccable - this sounds disappointingly similar to what happened in 2001 when the Chinese fighter aircraft flew dangerously close to the American spy plane. Who knows, the Chinese boat might have bumped into the much bigger American vessel, one of the Chinese crew (pants around his ankles) might have then bumped his head, fallen overboard, and drown. Then what? Yet another heroic martyr for the Chinese, and an ugly international incident.

Today's Global Times has reported it under the headline "美称其在南海测量船遭中国船舰包围骚扰".

Soviet spy ships used to pull this kind of stuff all the time. Every carrier group had one assigned, and they'd nose around ports and such. Heck the KGB (under diplomatic cover) used to send their officers out in American territory to set up spy equipment when troops were on exercises, etc.

The Chinese were probably trying to hide something, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered to harass the ship. This is just another example of China wanting to be a big power without taking any of the negatives that come along with it.

What a joke, so these fiberglass boats are huge threats to this behemoth of a ship? Grow up you 40 year old kids.

There's a new article on the NYT about this

China Says U.S. Provoked Naval Incident

The first rubbish NYT(rubbish) article mentioned where the incident took place, but neglected to mention that the Chinese have an enormous navy base right near by. For those that think the US Ship looks like something out of a James Bond movie, you should look at the satellite images of the naval base.

Anyway, for the US Navy to whine that it was unarmed and operated by civilians... PLEASE. This was a US Navy ship, run by US Navy officers, and the "civilians" were working for MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND, whatever the hell that is(doesn't sound too "civilian"). They were clearly spying on Chinese Naval activity in the area, who knows, they could've been installing sonar surveillance equipment or smart mines for all we know. Next time the US Navy wants to complain about being unarmed, I suggest they shut the fuck up and bring a carrier group along instead. Solves the unarmed problem now doesn't it?

The irony is in the name of the U.S ship,"Impeccable".

The USS Cole incident is why the US Navy takes "rinky-dink" boats seriously. No, I don't think Chinese are planning suicide runs, but Rules of Engagement are rules, not suggestions.

And as has been mentioned earlier, the US Navy couldn't win this, PR-wise. Anything "bad" happening to one of the Chinese ships (even if caused by foolishness such as running into the path of the US ship) would have been the fault of the US ship.

I'm with peteryang on this. China has an interest in manufacturing media to divert the public's attention during this tough year. Whether or not this incident with the US was planned, the media will certainly play it up over the next week or 2.

the incident could have been worse.

the US action was provocative, but consistent with long-standing US practice.

the Chinese action was reckless, but also consistent with long-standing Chinese practice.

both states are mature and well-practiced at the dangerous game of military-diplomatic brinkmanship.

neither side needs the help of raving lunatics to better establish the "legitimacy" of its actions.

What's wrong with how the Impeccable looks? I suspect comments about the ship's odd appearance, its cowardly crew, James Bond, and world domination say much more about the person writing them than they do about the U.S. Navy. A bit of penis envy perhaps?

In November 2004, a Chinese submarine was discovered in Japanese waters. In such circumstances, international protocol requires that the submerged vessel surface and identify itself. Instead, the Chinese attempted to flee. Japanese Self-Defense Force ships and aircraft chased the Chinese sub for three days - meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry denied that one of China's submarines had 1) entered Japanese waters, and 2) was being chased by the Japanese. In the end, the Chinese sub surfaced and the Chinese were forced to admit that they had indeed strayed. An apology was later offered to the Japanese. Almost nothing about the incident appeared in the Chinese press.

It will be interesting to hear more in the next few days about the various laws that apply in situations such as these. When the U.S. spy plane crashed on Hainan in 2001, much was said about the U.S. NOT being a signatory to various treaties that govern what can and cannot be done in a nation's exclusive economic zone. Oddly enough, this incident and the one in 2001 both took place a bit more than 100 kilometers off Hainan - definitely NOT undisputed Chinese territorial waters.

I thought that revisiting aspects of the 2001 Hainan Island Incident might help us to understand what’s going on now. I took the following from Wikipedia’s entry on the that incident: “The international status of the [2001 Hainan Island Incident’s] location is a source of controversy; the Chinese regard it as part of their airspace over their exclusive economic zone based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, of which China is a signatory and the US is not. In the Convention, it is stated in Part V Article 58: "In exercising their rights and performing their duties under this Convention in the exclusive economic zone, States shall have due regard to the rights and duties of the coastal State and shall comply with the laws and regulations adopted by the coastal State in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part." The US maintains that the location of the incident is in international waters, and that the US has the right of free transit passage. EP-3s had earlier overflown various South China Sea islands claimed by China.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainan_Island_incident)

I lifted the following passage from Wikipedia. It concerns the United State’s decision not to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Law of the Sea: “The United States strongly objected to the provisions...of the Convention on several grounds, arguing that the treaty is unfavorable to American economic and security interests. The U.S. felt that the provisions of the treaty were not free-market friendly and were designed to favor the economic systems of the Communist states... Even though the United States is not a party to the treaty, it considers many of the...provisions as binding as customary international law.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea)

The following is a relevant portion of the "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea" concerning Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs): "[EEZs] extend 200 nautical miles from the baseline. Within this area, the coastal nation has sole exploitation rights over all natural resources. The EEZs were introduced to halt the increasingly heated clashes over fishing rights, although oil was also becoming important...Foreign nations have the freedom of navigation and overflight, subject to the regulation of the coastal states. Foreign states may also lay submarine pipes and cables."(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea)

The following is from the Wikipedia entry on Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs): “Under the law of the sea, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources. Generally a state's EEZ extends to a distance of 200 nautical miles (370 km) out from its coast. The exception to this rule occurs when EEZs would overlap; that is, state coastal baselines are less than 400 nautical miles (740 km) apart. When an overlap occurs, it is up to the states to delineate the actual boundary. Generally, any point within an overlapping area defaults to the most proximate state. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) starts at the coastal baseline and extends 200 nautical miles (370 km) out into the sea...Thus, the EEZ overlaps both the contiguous zone and territorial waters. States also have rights to the seabed of the continental shelf up to 350 nautical miles (650 km) from the coast, where this extends beyond the EEZ, but this does not form part of their EEZ.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_economic_zone)

According to Wikipedia, the size of the U.S. EEZ is 11,351,000 km² (largest EEZ)) while China's EEZ is only 877,019 km². For comparison, France's EEZ is 11,035,000 km², Australia's is 10,648,250 km², and Japan's is 4,479,358 km².(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_economic_zone)

I read through the Global Times article and noted that it didn't seem to mention the Chinese sailors disrobing. I'm guessing that weird little tidbit will be left out of coverage on the mainland.

Perhaps part of the idea was to start a 2001-style incident. After all, it's a new president and to get information you must experiment.

I can understand Chinese government's frustration and sharp response, US said earlier it would help Japan defend Senkaku Islands if there is a conflict, which struke the very nerve of China's territorial fascination (without "hurt feeling" this time however).

I think this kind of scuffle will go on forever, the very location of Senkaku Islands and its unexplored resources spell a huge trouble, and it puts many surrounding nations at odd with each other, not only Japan and China.

And who cares about international law anyway? US never does, nor will China do. When it comes to competition or survival, force is the only thing that matters.

I am most certain that this is the beginning of a massive war for resources, and at the current rate, it will be China VS the rest.

I found some american dickhead commenting like shit on this webstie, are you living in China? If you are please return to your mighty country, oh wait, probably you wont find a job then

I don't see any picture that confirms the Chinese disrobed to their undies, besides the offical US line.

I love this Chinese Special Economic Zone BS. Chinese make their own laws that are not followed by the international law that China is a signature too.

They think they "own" the whole South China Sea!

Yes, China can troll off our coast in international waters except they don't have the navy to go out that far without an expense they want to occur. The US has the NAVY to go anywhere anytime and we do. We control the worlds sea lanes for many years so get used to it.

If China or any other country goes to attack any of our vessels by sea it is blub, blub, blub many Chinese ships sinking to the bottom of the tub... This is exactly why it is suicide to attack Taiwan. China would not have a navy left after the initial attack.

An American War ship was harrased by a few tiny fishing trawler boats? While the American ship was dicking around off the coast of China? Yet another double standard. I'm sure the US government would have not been as kind. And civilians operating that behemoth?? I have served in the US military and there's no friggin way civilians operated that ship, for so many reasons.

"I have served in the US military and there's no friggin way civilians operated that ship, for so many reasons."---JAMES

First, thank you for your service to the best country in the world.

Sir, you know that serving in the military means that you are given information on a as "need to know basis". There are tons of information that you are not privy to---unless you are a General you won't know everything. Even they don't know everything. If you were this rank would you be commenting on this crap? Leave it to the Sgt. to waste time with this nonsense.

Over and out.

An intolerable display of weapons of a-s destruction.

China should just send its own copycat versions of the "Impeccable" to do the same kind of surveillance around the US

Cori, etc., China already does this kind of surveillance to the United States. USA does not care or bother them, provided they don't interfere with USA's shipping lanes or fleet. There's no point. I've personally seen foreign surveillance and intelligence collection vessels in the Strait of Juan de Fuca as well as in Elliott Bay in Seattle.

China also violates United States' "EEZ" by slant drilling under Florida waters in the Gulf of Mexico. USA doesn't appear to be doing anything about that, either, although as far as I'm concerned, USA has the right to destroy the drilling rigs. It'd make a big mess, though.

James, USNS indicates the vessel is not a warship and that it is operated by a civilian crew, as that is the designation of US Naval Auxiliary vessels. These vessels are operated by the Merchant Marine service. They include hospital ships, transports, oceanographic survey ships, etc. While there will be US military personnel on board, the crew is civilian and the ship is unarmed, although ugly. I don't consider ugly a weapon, though.

This is an example of China flexing its muscles and attempting to show the world that its a big kid now. While it's curious and funny, it's essentially meaningless.

Ultimately, China does this stuff because China knows USA will not respond in a military manner and that US crews are instructed to leave the area when China harasses them, rather than cause an international incident.

C:

China also violates United States' "EEZ" by slant drilling under Florida waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Washington Post:

The survival of the China drilling factoid is a good illustration of the D.C. echo chamber. The idea that such drilling was occurring gained big media attention when Vice President Cheney said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that "oil is being drilled right now 60 miles off the coast of Florida. But we're not doing it, the Chinese are, in cooperation with the Cuban government. Even the communists have figured out that a good answer to high prices is more supply."

Cheney cited as a source a June 5 column by George F. Will, and several other Republicans had repeated the charge by the time Cheney said it. But Will has since corrected his original assertion, saying: "While Cuba has partnered with Chinese companies to drill in the Florida Straits, no Chinese company has been involved in Cuba's oil exploration that close to the United States." Cheney's office has also acknowledged it wasn't true.

I think it is funny and everyone should lighten up a little......

Thanks C,

I can understand why there is a desire not to escalate this militarily, but why isn't Chinese naval surveillance in the US EEZ reported?

Funny to see that the comment section of Danwei has become a off-shore base of American nationalists. Why don't you go on to fight your war in Iraq, babies?

"Cori, etc., China already does this kind of surveillance to the United States."

How? Where have they been? When? What are your sources? You sure those "foreign surveillance and intelligence collection vessels" you saw were Chinese? By the way the Chinese flag is a red flag with 5 gold stars. Are you sure those were not Canadian? You know the Canadian flag has two red columns and a big red maple leaf on it. :-)

With Americans like sgt. s and Jon, no wonder everybody LOVES America.

American general: (哭) 你们为甚么要骚扰我们的“无懈”号?
Chinese general: 完全合理,因为我们中国有个成语叫做 “无懈”可击。

If people are going to make accusations and remarks about who's doing/done what at least put up a link to your source, it's getting hard to follow the discussion with unsubstantiated claims.

How? Where have they been? When? What are your sources?
-----------------------
You are stupid if you think these things actually need sources to confirm, it's routine military procedure known to the world (or at least the military world). China has nuclear subs sneaking around US gathering intels whenever she can, so do Russia, US, India, Japan, and other nations who are capable of this type of operation.

This isn't a world where everybody says hello loud and clear and go out making friends, and why do you think they and we develop radar-dodging equipments?

American general: (哭) 你们为甚么要骚扰我们的“无懈”号?
Chinese general: 完全合理,因为我们中国有个成语叫做 “无懈”可击。
-----------------

LULZ.

Why do you suppose it was the US Navy which first released photos of this incident?

Fascinating commentary.

Tiny trawlers and big ugly vessels. The big ship was never in danger, of course. Everyone knows that collisions never cause fires that spread or leaks that can sink a ship, damage costs nothing to repair and never affects mission capabilities, and ships whose hull integrity is impaired have nothing to fear from storms or rough seas.

It's also fun to watch how the Chinese use the idea of "being provoked" to manipulate foreign sympathy. The dastardly US, collecting information international waters! Brave and impassioned Chinese navy trawlers, unable to contain their feelings, rush out to confront the terrible listening menace! We are then expected to buy this storyline of how that massive disturbance in the Force you feel is the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese people, all being simultaneously hurt by the USN Impeccable. The reality is that the Chinese are deliberately tormenting the vessel in the hope that it will give up useful sigint information, situation protocols, insight into probable US evasive moves, etc. It's just a game. A bonus of this game is the foreigners who blame the US but not the Chinese for being cowboys. And who ignore Chinese incursions in Japanese waters. Move along folks, no provocations there.

The double standards by which Chinese, Japanese, and US behavior is judged are...amazing. If the Chinese are going to play this game, then they have to play by the rules. The US ship was not engaged in anything which the Chinese themselves do not do, in the same ways and for the same reasons.

Speaking of which, we're legally obligated to defend Japan, which means that while an effup between US and Chinese vessels need not lead to war because we have control over the outcome, if Japan and China go to war over some stupid cowboy Chinese incident like this, we're coming on Japan's side. Who is the dangerous provocative cowboy side here?

Irony is the US navy is the one branch of the service that has always sought better relations with China.

Michael

Children: There were Russian (and USSR) bombers (not spy planes) that violates US and Canadian airspace. What did US and Canada do ? Shoot them down ? Fly across their bombers with fighters a la Chinois ? No. Fighters were sent to observe, warn, and escort those bombers out of US and Canadian airspace, without violating international laws.

Similarly, when foreign warships entering territorial waters of western nations, warships were sent to accompany them, sailing along side of these ships until they leave. When submarines were observed, they were "pinged" with loud sonar burst to tell them that they are observed, follow them with pings until they go away, not endangering them.

There is a difference between sailing at the side of the vessel and crossing their bow. One of them is dangerous, and therefore illegal.

A spy plane that can chase and hit a jet fighter must be flown by a very skillful pilot, especially it is a 4 propeller plane. Guess who is crossing who's path dangerously.

"After seeing images of some of the ships involved, one has to question what kind of men sail on the good ship Impeccable."

Civilian.

Wait isn't this supposed to be a Chinese forum? Where did all those American nationalists come from? Gargh, annoying!!!

I would like to put it this way: Impeccable is 70km off Hainan, it is annoying the heck out of the Chinese who have God-knows-what there, so they sent out some fishing trawlers to annoying the American behemoth too. And fish for some underwater sonar while at it. China does it because she feels like it. What are you Americans going to do about it?

Hey, when something like the Impeccable from China shows up 70km off California, I am perfectly fine with Americans sending out fishing trawlers to "harass" it.

Michael,

Talk about being shameless. The American spy ship was hunting Chinese subs within Chinese EEZ (sure, international waters), then the Americans cried afoul and whined about being hurt (blah blah blah). Who is the crybaby here huh?

"The US ship was not engaged in anything which the Chinese themselves do not do"

Last time I checked no Chinese spy ships had entered US EEZ to hunt American subs or to spy on an American submarine base.

"we're coming on Japan's side"

As if nobody would expect you to be on their side? Yeah, we are so friggin' scared, big crybaby! Don't kill us~~~~ Yeah right.

@ HJG: Looks like the US has responded by sending a heavily armed destroyer to escort the USS Impeccable: link

Sending a destroyer,the USS Chung-Hoon, named after a Korean-American sure is a curious choice

I am waiting to see why US sent an asian-named ship, perhaps it implies something?

@Pfeffer

The fact that the Chinese navy has never (or so we think) sailed into U.S. territorial waters says more about its lack of capability and less about its desire to abide by international/U.S. laws prohibiting such conduct. China has, after all, been willing to disregard the maritime/territorial claims of nations such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Korea, and Japan. Case in point - in an earlier comment, I describe a 1994 incident in which a Chinese submarine was discovered in Japan's EEZ. (In Nov. 1994, after a three-day chase, China's Foreign Ministry was forced to admit (after repeated denials) that the sub was indeed Chinese and had "drifted" into Japanese waters.) Similarly, while China does not yet possess the blue water navy necessary to mount sensitive reconnaisance/intelligence missions, it nevertheless actively engages in military and industrial espionage on a massive scale in both the U.S. and Europe. Your repeated attempts to assign the moral high ground to China are laughable to say the least. I'm quite sure that China's smaller neighbors are happy that the U.S. is keeping tabs on the South China Sea. What's happening now, I think, is called "preparing the battlefield." No wonder the Chinese don't like it. I don't blame them. Even so, I wish the Impeccable a happy and successful mission.

Now that the Chung-Hoon is on the scene, I wonder how China will respond. More bare asses and wood in the water?

"Your repeated attempts to assign the moral high ground to China are laughable to say the least. I'm quite sure that China's smaller neighbors are happy that the U.S. is keeping tabs on the South China Sea."---STINKY

The problem with your comments is that they make complete sense.

Some participants in this discussion call folks like you and I --- who are realists --- "nationalists". Why, because I love the USA? People born under other flags should also love their country. This alone does not make one a nationalist. If it does than why doesn this word get such a negative connotation?

By calling us nationalists they attempt to discredit our statements. The statements, especially yours, are straight, to the point, accurate, and make complete sense.

When others have nothing important to add they resort to name-calling---so be it.

We are tough Yanks. We saved the world many many times. We can take the ridicule without crying.

吵什么吵? 哪里都有民族主义者(国家主义者),就这么个小地球,哪天非挤爆不可.你把我当朋友,那我对你友好;你把我当敌人,那我对你就得警惕.这是动物的本性,更何况人是高级动物.就有几个经常在这里吵吵嚷嚷的,就显你本事大,看来维护世界和平就靠你了.

有人说得也对,我们中国的小拖船也太厉害了,几只小船就能逼迫美国的IMPECCABLE,哪天要跟你们美国真打起来,我们换成大拖船,就能把你们的CARRIER顶几个大洞.洲际多弹头可变轨导弹,那都是吓唬人的,我们的大拖船才是我们的杀手锏武器.那个SLAUGHTER,你看你这个名字起得多温柔多人性啊,我很看好你,以后维护世界和平就靠你了....

Stinky,

Didn't the Japanese, or the Koreans and the Filipinos complain about the alleged violations of their EEZ by the Chinese ships or subs? They didn't try to intercept the Chinese ships or subs probabaly because they didn't detect them. But they did complain and protest, didn't they? There is no reason to believe the Americans would not do the same. And given how technologically superior you people are, I'd think you will detect the Chinese ships or subs. The Americans wouldn't try to intercept them, you people wouldn't care you say? Alright!

I agree though that China should develop the capability to do the same to you people. That is much better than the lousy effort to block your spy ship.

You are shameless though by hunting Chinese subs in Chinese EEZ. Where do you suppose the Chinese subs should go? American EEZ?

sgt., so you people love people from other countries, especially those of who you consider "enemy" "rival" "adversary" "competitor" nationalists, but you don't want others to call you nationalists? Don't want to accept what you shell out? Bunch of hypocrites.

Take a look at China's territorial claims.

That red line makes the English Channel part of China. Just how much are these boys claiming?

"那个SLAUGHTER,你看你这个名字起得多温柔多人性啊,我很看好你,以后维护世界和平就靠你了...."---大门牙

Thank you. You are such a wise man. You bring your boats, I will bring mine and we can go fishing off the coast of Canada because no one really cares about Canadians anyway.

"In September 2006, Chung-Hoon served as host ship to the People's Liberation Army Navy's Luda class destroyer Qingdao during Qingdao's visit to Pearl Harbor.[4] The two ships conducted communications and mobility exercises on September 10, 2006. According to Xinhua News Agency, it was the first such exercise by USN and PLAN ships."

It seems to me we have forgotten the lessons of the USS Pueblo, and the USS Liberty. These surveilence ships need to be properly armed or escorted by a combat ship.
I recall Soviet combat ships in the 60s and 70s sailing between Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii, in the Alenuihaha Channel, to demonstrate that the center of the channel was in international waters. If the U.S. asserts a 12 mile limit . . . whats good for the goose is good for the gander.
Aloha

Lindel,
"In September 2006, Chung-Hoon served as host ship to the People's Liberation Army Navy's Luda class destroyer Qingdao during Qingdao's visit to Pearl Harbor.[4] The two ships conducted communications and mobility exercises on September 10, 2006. According to Xinhua News Agency, it was the first such exercise by USN and PLAN ships."


Posted by: Lindel | March 20, 2009 4:57 AM
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你真行.佩服.

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