More tension in international waters off China
Posted by Charles II on December 14, 2013
A US guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship, the US Pacific Fleet has revealed.
The USS Cowpens had been operating in the vicinity of China’s only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning…
Another Chinese warship came near the Cowpens in the incident on 5 December. The US ship was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision, the Pacific Fleet said in its statement.
The Cowpens had been in the Philippines helping with disaster relief in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, which hit the region in November. The US navy said it was in the South China Sea conducting routine “freedom-of-navigation” operations – which are intended to assert the right of passage through a disputed area – when the incident occurred.
This was a few hundred miles away from the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands where there has been recent awkwardness. The Chinese are trying to expand the recognized zone of their control farther from the mainland. International law is not, in my opinion, on their side.
And every incident of this kind increases the risk of hostilities.