Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

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Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby reztrop » 10 Mar 2009, 06:51

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090309/ap_ ... a_incident

Chinese ships surrounded and harassed a Navy mapping ship in international waters off China, at one point coming within 25 feet of the American boat and strewing debris in its path, the Defense Department said Monday. The Obama administration said it would continue naval operations in the South China Sea, most of which China considers its territory, and protested to China about what it called reckless behavior that endangered lives.

At one point during the incident Sunday the unarmed USNS Impeccable turned fire hoses on an approaching Chinese ship in self defense, the Pentagon said. At another point a Chinese ship played chicken with the Americans, stopping dead in front of the Impeccable as it tried to sail away, forcing the civilian mariners to slam on the brakes.

"We view these as unprofessional maneuvers" and a violation of international law, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

The incident had overtones of spycraft, but the U.S. ship is not, strictly speaking, a spy ship. It maps the ocean floor with sonar, compiling information the Navy can use to steer its own submarines or track those of other nations.

The Impeccable was specifically designed to augment the Navy's anti-submarine capability, although military spokesmen would not be specific about the ship's duties when it was surrounded.

A Pentagon accounting of the confrontation documents the actions of the startled and cornered American crew as a Chinese vessel closed to within 25 feet. Pictures released by the Navy give a sense of the surreal scene: The Chinese mariners had stripped to their underwear following the blast by the Impeccable's fire hoses.

Whitman called that "immature," and said the confrontation was the most aggressive of a series of incidents recently in the same area.

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

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


Quite unprofessional behavior by the PLN in international waters.
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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby urodacus » 10 Mar 2009, 09:39

they were also attempting to snag and drag the Impeccable's acoustic lines (long drag lines of sensitive sonar arrays).

no word yet on whether these were actually navy vessels, or even fishing boats or other small craft. given that they closed within 25 feet at one point, they were probably small craft of some kind. of course, even if they were 'fishing vessels' they could still be military, just camouflage...

belligerence on the high seas! now if the Impeccable had rammed them (by not being able to stop in time), that would have been fun.
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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby TainanCowboy » 10 Mar 2009, 09:58

The mission of Impeccable is to directly support the Navy by using both passive and active low frequency sonar arrays to detect and track undersea threats.

USNS Impeccable Christened Nov. 1 2000

With picture:
http://www.msc.navy.mil/inventory/ships ... llanceShip

sssssh...its a "spy" ship

Good description from a knowledgeable source:
" The Impeccable is not a combatant. She is operated by the Military Sealift Command and is crewed by civilains with Navy Officers. She is an Ocean Surveillance vessel with the specific mission of tracking submarines, and is the quietest ship the US government operates, outside of our nuclear submarines themselves. She has a very unique, and very quiet hull.

Such ships serve as a stable platform to gather underwater acoustical data. Impeccable was specifically designed to deploy two underwater listening devices called surveillance towed-array sensor system (SURTASS) used to augment the Navy's antisubmarine warfare capability. The SURTASS mission is to gather ocean acoustical data and, through electronic equipment onboard, process and provide rapid transmission of antisubmarine warfare information via satellite to shore stations for evaluation and analysis.

The Chinese know this and this is why they are so touchy about it. Their new subs are likely being tagged by this vessel."


2 large pictures:
http://www.msc.navy.mil/annualreport/20 ... ccable.jpg
http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/t20_ches.jpg
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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby TainanCowboy » 10 Mar 2009, 10:11

Something else to be considered. Lets remember back to 1 April 2001. The PLAAF forced an EP-3 to land on Hunan Island.

This was right after GW Bush* took office.
Step up to the real world PEBO. No teleprompter for this one.

*edited.
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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby Mr He » 10 Mar 2009, 13:58

That's an interesting coincidence.

Trying out President Obama. Oh well, how about sending an escort for the unarmed vessel?
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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby Huang Guang Chen » 10 Mar 2009, 14:12

That Hunan island has to be an interesting place.

In both instances the Chinese were challenging American attempts to test what the Chinese claim as sovereign boundaries, and busily retrieving military data. What would AmeriKKKa have done if a Chinese ship was scooting within/just off it's border sniffing the electronic breeze? Well we do know what they've done to Cuba for close on half a century, and continue to do, just for daring to exist these days.

Fuck the yanks. Situation normal.

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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby Tigerman » 10 Mar 2009, 15:06

Huang Guang Chen wrote:In both instances the Chinese were challenging American attempts to test what the Chinese claim as sovereign boundaries, and busily retrieving military data. What would America have done if a Chinese ship was scooting within/just off it's border sniffing the electronic breeze? Well we do know what they've done to Cuba for close on half a century, and continue to do, just for daring to exist these days.

Fuck the yanks. Situation normal.


Actually, you might want to reconsider.

Under the UN Convention known as the Law of the Sea, which China is a party to but the US is not, a country's territorial waters, including the airspace above, extend 12 miles from the coast. Countries may also claim up to a 200 mile Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ).

All aircraft, including military aircraft, enjoy the right of overflight in an EEZ. The right of overflight is subject to certain qualifications, such as that parties "shall refrain from threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of United Nations".

In fact, it is fairly common practice for many countries, including China, to carry out such overt surveillance activities (overt surveillance is decidedly not spying) in the EEZ of other states.

From a legal perspective, although aircraft are expressly prohibited from spying in the twelve mile territorial zone, they are not so prohibited from engaging in spying in the EEZ. And again, we are not even talking about spying (which is done covertly).
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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby irishstu » 10 Mar 2009, 15:09

What's PEBO?
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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby Taffy » 10 Mar 2009, 15:13

irishstu wrote:What's PEBO?

Proletariat Executive Body (Operations). It's the secret socialist council that runs America these days.
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Re: Chinese ships surround and harass US Navy mapping ship

Postby Dragonbones » 10 Mar 2009, 15:20

The US should kick some Chinese ass.
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