Monday, March 9, 2009

PHOTO: Chinese Vessels "Harass" U.S. Navy's USNS Impeccable

Chinese ships and planes have been getting very aggressive lately. The latest incident happened to the USNS Impeccable (pictured at left). Here's the scoop from

Five Chinese vessels in a possibly coordinated effort yesterday “shadowed and aggressively maneuvered in dangerously close proximity” to a U.S. Navy ocean surveillance ship as it conducted routine operations in international waters, the Pentagon said today.

Two of the vessels closed to within 50 feet (15 meters) of the USNS Impeccable, waving Chinese flags and telling the U.S. ship to leave the area, according to a Defense Department statement. The Impeccable sprayed its fire hoses at one of the boats in order to protect itself.

The incident took place eight days after the U.S. and China agreed to resume military exchanges after China in October froze some contact to protest arms sales to Taiwan.

The U.S. Embassy lodged a protest during the weekend with Chinese officials over the incident, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said today.

"We felt that our vessel was inappropriately harassed," Wood told reporters in Washington.

Yesterday’s encounter took place in international waters in the South China Sea, about 75 miles south of Hainan Island, and included a Chinese Navy intelligence ship, the Pentagon said. The incident was preceded by days of increasingly aggressive conduct by Chinese vessels, the Defense Department said.
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