Chinese Boats ‘Encounter’ U.S. Ship in China Sea
5 May 09 | PTV
Chinese fishing boats have had an encounter with a US Navy ship in the South China Sea.
The Pentagon said on Tuesday that the Chinese fishing boats engaged in “dangerous” maneuvers near a US Navy ship in international waters off the coast of China on Friday .
Spokesman Bryan Whitman confirmed that a pair of Chinese vessels had forced the US vessel into defensive measures. “It is unsafe and dangerous behavior and it needs to be addressed diplomatically,” Whitman said.
The Pentagon also claimed that the US Navy ship was conducting “routine operations” in international waters.
In early March, the Pentagon said five Chinese ships harassed and maneuvered dangerously close to the unarmed USNS Impeccable as the ocean surveillance vessel was some 75 miles south of the Chinese island of Hainan, some 12,000 km (7,500 miles) from the US Pacific coast.
The US claimed the incident took place in international waters after several days of increasingly aggressive acts by Chinese ships in the region.
On March 13, the US Navy dispatched a guided missile destroyer to the China Sea after a tense naval standoff between the two countries.
Chinese sources have said that the US Navy vessel had been consistently conducting illegal surveying in China’s special economic zone.
Washington has been keeping a close eye on China’s military arsenal, including its expanding fleet of submarines, and the arrival of the destroyer underscored Washington’s determination to continue the surveillance mission, despite Beijing’s protestations.
China says the United States’ naval operations are illegal and in response has stepped up naval patrols in the South China Sea.