Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

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.

3 Responses to “More tension in international waters off China”

  1. I am reminded of China’s purchase, some years back, of a half-finished Soviet aircraft carrier under the pretext that it was going to be used as a floating casino stationed off Macau.

    • Charles II said

      Yeah, I’d feel a lot less concerned about Chinese intentions if they weren’t so pathologically dishonest about them.

      I think the *only* country that the NSA should monitor will all means possible is China, not because they are evil, but because reading their intentions is so difficult. That is what is intelligence is for: understanding the intentions of a rival.

      • I also can’t help but be reminded that Sheldon Adelson’s business empire, which was tottering as recently as 2009, was rescued by the Chinese government’s allowing him to set up gambling venues in Macau.

        One wonders at the Chinese government’s interest in ensuring the financial survival of such a stalwart Republican Party patron.

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