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Subject: Pentagon says Chinese harassed U.S. ship
YelliChink    3/9/2009 11:06:22 AM
Pentagon says Chinese harassed U.S. ship * Story Highlights * USNS Impeccable incident called part of "increasingly aggressive conduct" * Ship was "conducting routine operations in international waters," Pentagon says * 5 Chinese vessels came "dangerously close" to ocean surveillance ship, it says * Statement: 2 ships within 50 feet, crew waved Chinese flags, told U.S. ship to leave * Next Article in Politics » Decrease font Decrease font Enlarge font Enlarge font WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon said Monday that Chinese ships harassed a U.S. surveillance ship Sunday in the South China Sea in the latest of several instances of "increasingly aggressive conduct." During the incident, five Chinese vessels "shadowed and aggressively maneuvered in dangerously close proximity to USNS Impeccable, in an apparent coordinated effort to harass the U.S. ocean surveillance ship while it was conducting routine operations in international waters," the Pentagon said in a written statement. The crew members aboard the vessels, two of which were within 50 feet, waved Chinese flags and told the U.S. ship to leave the area, the statement said. ==================================================== USS Impeccable It seems that commies don't feel like US or any other country's survey ship near their territorial waters, while they themselves have no problem sending their survey ship into other's territorial waters.
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Softwar       3/9/2009 4:22:13 PM
This is the PRC's way of challenging President Obama.  If he does nothing or pulls back - they will pursue the weakness.  If he reacts sharply - they will save face and claim the lower level officers will be re-educated.
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Zhang Fei       3/9/2009 4:35:27 PM
 A more detailed report:
The Obama administration vowed Monday to keep up military surveillance in waters off China and protested to China about what it called harassment of an American ship doing that work last week. The Pentagon charged that a Chinese intelligence gathering vessel and four others "shadowed and maneuvered dangerously close" to the USNS Impeccable surveillance ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, then threw obstacles in the water as it tried to leave.

In an odd twist, the unarmed Impeccable, which is operated for the Navy by civilian mariners, turned fire hoses on one vessel that came within 50 feet of it. The Chinese crew stripped to their underwear, then closed to within 25 feet.

A Pentagon spokesman called that "immature" and said the Chinese behaved recklessly and in violation of international law.

"We view these as unprofessional maneuvers," spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

The U.S. Navy surveillance ships tow sonar equipment that probes the ocean to gather acoustic data and detect underwater threats. The craft was specifically designed to augment the Navy's anti-submarine capability, although military spokesmen would not be specific about the Impeccable's duties.

The incident came just a week after China and the U.S. resumed military-to-military consultations following a five-month suspension over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. And it came as Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was due in Washington to meet with U.S. officials.

In Beijing, Chinese officials did not immediately respond to voicemail messages and e-mail regarding the U.S. allegations.

Pentagon officials said the incident followed "increasingly aggressive" acts by Chinese ships against the Impeccable on Wednesday and Saturday and against the USNS Victorious surveillance ship on Thursday while it operated in the Yellow Sea.

"We're going to continue to operate in those international waters, and we expect the Chinese to observe international law around that," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

A protest was lodged with the Chinese government by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing over the weekend and was repeated to a Chinese defense attache by Defense Department East Asia policy officials at a Pentagon meeting Monday.

The Chinese ships included a Chinese Navy intelligence collection ship, a Bureau of Maritime Fisheries Patrol Vessel, a State Oceanographic Administration patrol vessel, and two small Chinese-flagged trawlers, officials said.

The Chinese vessels surrounded the Impeccable, and two got close enough for the crew to see people waving Chinese flags and telling the American ship to leave, the Pentagon said in a statement. Not knowing what the Chinese intended, the Impeccable crew sprayed fire hoses at one ship in self defense, the statement said. "The Chinese crew members disrobed to their underwear and continued closing to within 25 feet," the statement said.

Impeccable crew radioed to tell the Chinese ships that it was leaving the area and requested a safe path to navigate, the Pentagon said.

But shortly afterward, two of the Chinese ships stopped directly ahead of the Impeccable, forcing it to an emergency stop. The Chinese also dropped pieces of wood in the water in front of Impeccable's path.

China views almost the entirety of the South China Sea as its territory. China's claims to small islets in the region have put it at odds with five governments — the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Another Pentagon spokesman, Marine Maj. Stewart Upton, said U.S. Navy ships and aircraft routinely operate in the area and that Chinese ships and aircraft routinely steam or fly nearby. "However, these actions were considerably more aggressive and unprofessional than we have seen."

Pentagon officials said the close encounter followed these other incidents last week:

_On Wednesday, a Chinese Bureau of Fisheries Patrol vessel used a high-intensity spotlight to illuminate the ocean surveillance ship USNS Victorious as it operated in the Yellow Sea, about 125 nautical miles from China's coast, the Pentagon said. The next day, a Chinese Y-12 Quote    Reply

Zhang Fei       3/9/2009 4:51:40 PM
Maybe the Chinese will seize the ship and create another Pueblo incident. They decided to test Bush during his first months in office, and found him quite belligerent, to the point of agreeing to sell Taiwan pretty advanced weapons systems (purchases that the KMT decided to derail, meaning Taiwan may never see them). It'll be interesting to see the Ogabe Emperor's (&>2885;&>1152;&&6125;&>9579;) response to new Chinese provocations. Maybe he'll take one look at a program he never knew existed, and decide that it's one of the savings he was referring to when he said he was going to cut government waste (to fund his laundry list of handout programs).
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Zhang Fei    Looks like the Chinese were trying to board the ship   3/9/2009 5:09:41 PM
Here is a video report by Jim Miklazewski at the Pentagon on news that the USS Impeccable, an unarmed U.S. Navy ship, was harassed yesterday by 5 Chinese Ships in International Waters. The Impeccable is a minesweeper, and reportedly used water canon to force one of the Chinese ships away that was attempting to latch onto the Impeccable with a grappling hook. The incident took place in international waters in the South China Sea, about 75 miles south of Hainan Island. The United States has reportedly lodged a protest with the Chinese Government.
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YelliChink       3/9/2009 8:10:41 PM
I bet cha all that commies will NEVER do the same thing to Russian survey ships, even if the ship is parked in front of Weihaiwei.
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YelliChink       3/10/2009 4:15:29 PM
 Ma (a commie spokesman) said that "the U.S. claims are gravely in contravention of the facts and confuse black and white and they are totally unacceptable to China," although he didn't say what China's version of the events were.
Pentagon already has the whole video recording of the harassment. Commies will only shame themselves if they insist their view of the event.
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Zhang Fei       3/10/2009 7:28:51 PM
My guess is that there were subs trying to get by undetected, and these boats were running interference.
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Softwar       3/12/2009 1:28:54 PM

China's Defense Ministry has demanded that the U.S. Navy end surveillance missions off the country's southern coast following a weekend confrontation between an American vessel and Chinese ships.

In its first public comment on the Sunday episode, the ministry repeated earlier statements from the Foreign Ministry that the unarmed U.S. ship was operating illegally inside China's exclusive economic zone when it was challenged by three Chinese government ships and two Chinese-flagged trawlers.

"The Chinese side's carrying out of routine enforcement and safeguarding measures within its exclusive economic zone was entirely appropriate and legal," ministry spokesman Huang Xueping said in a statement faxed overnight to reporters.

"We demand the United States respect our legal interests and security concerns, and take effective measures to prevent a recurrence of such incidents," Huang said.


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Zhang Fei       3/13/2009 2:33:01 PM
More developments:

Chinese Navy officers reacted with annoyance today when it emerged that the United States had sent a destroyer to back up a surveillance vessel in the South China Sea after it was harassed by People?s Liberation Army (PLA) sailors.

The decision by President Obama to send an armed escort for US surveillance ships in the area follows the aggressive and co-ordinated manoeuvres of five Chinese boats on Sunday. The vessels harassed and nearly collided with the unarmed USNS Impecccable.

One unidentified officer quoted in the China Daily newspaper said that the decision was disproportionate. While China?s Foreign Ministry has so far kept tight-lipped on the latest development, the decision to run such a comment so swiftly in the state-run English-language newspaper was a signal of Beijing?s concerns.

One naval source said the PLA had taken note of the latest US move and was watching developments closely.

Another described the deployment of the USS Chung-Hoon, armed with torpedoes and missiles, as a signal of the Pentagon?s intention to ?keep on pressing? China in the South China Sea.

He added: ?The timing and the extent have gone beyond what you could call proportionate.?

Top Chinese officers accused the unarmed US Navy ship that it disturbed last Sunday of being on a spying mission. They said they had made repeated representations to the United States to stop sailing so close to Chinese waters and within its exclusive economic zone.

The US keeps a close eye on China?s arsenal, including its fleet of submarines in the area. Washington says the confrontation occurred in international waters, but Beijing claims nearly all the South China Sea as its own, putting it in conflict with five other nations that have claims over different parts of the waters.

The episode complicated fragile military relations between the US and China, which appeared to have improved after the two held defence talks in Beijing last month. President Obama yesterday called for more military dialogue with China to avoid similar incidents after a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, the White House said.

?The President also stressed the importance of raising the level and frequency of military-to-military dialogue,? it said.

A hotline was established between the Chinese Defence Ministry and the Pentagon in April last year, but it was not used during or after Sunday?s standoff, defence officials said.

This is far from the first time the US Navy has sent vessels to patrol off China in recent years. Many have wielded far more potent fire power.

In November 2007, after China cancelled a port call by the American Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier to Hong Kong, the Pentagon ordered the group to sail through the narrow Taiwan Strait, in a move that was certain to anger Beijing. The previous such transit was in 2002, by the USS Constellation and its battle group.

In July and August 1995 - after China carried out missile tests targeting waters around Taiwan to try to intimidate the rulers of the island it sees as a renegade province - the USS Nimitz sailed through the Taiwan Strait. In March 1996, when China carried out another round of missile tests off Taiwan, the United States sent two aircraft carrier groups - the Independence and the Nimitz - to waters off Taiwan, but they stayed out of the narrow strait to avoid any clash.

Fu Mengzi, assistant president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the latest incident should be interpreted separately from President Obama's China policy and was due to the influence of American military officers.

He told the China Daily: ?Obama seeks cooperation with China. But some hawkish US military officers don't like it, which led to the spat over the sea confrontation."

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AdvanceAustralia    Pathetic   3/13/2009 3:51:37 PM
In the same week the PRC regime attacks an unarmed US oceanographic survey ship and complains when the USN not unreasonably sends said ship an escort, the PRC Premier practically begs the US to protect the PRC's foreign exchange reserves.
I could think of one quick way to wipe $727.4 billion off the US's foreign debt and fund Ogabe's great socialist pork barrel at the same time." align="absmiddle" border="0" alt="" />
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