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Chinese Naval Vessel Tries to Force U.S. Warship to Stop in International Waters
Washington Free Beacon ^ | 12/13/2013 | Bill Gertz

Posted on 12/13/2013 2:57:59 AM PST by markomalley

A Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters recently, causing a tense military standoff in the latest case of Chinese maritime harassment, according to defense officials.

The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, which recently took part in disaster relief operations in the Philippines, was confronted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea near Beijing’s new aircraft carrier Liaoning, according to officials familiar with the incident.

“On December 5th, while lawfully operating in international waters in the South China Sea, USS Cowpens and a PLA Navy vessel had an encounter that required maneuvering to avoid a collision,” a Navy official said.

“This incident underscores the need to ensure the highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap.”

A State Department official said the U.S. government issued protests to China in both Washington and Beijing in both diplomatic and military channels.

The Cowpens was conducting surveillance of the Liaoning at the time. The carrier had recently sailed from the port of Qingdao on the northern Chinese coast into the South China Sea.

According to the officials, the run-in began after a Chinese navy vessel sent a hailing warning and ordered the Cowpens to stop. The cruiser continued on its course and refused the order because it was operating in international waters.

Then a Chinese tank landing ship sailed in front of the Cowpens and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course in what the officials said was a dangerous maneuver.

According to the officials, the Cowpens was conducting a routine operation done to exercise its freedom of navigation near the Chinese carrier when the incident occurred about a week ago.

The encounter was the type of incident that senior Pentagon officials recently warned could take place as a result of heightened tensions in the region over China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently called China’s new air defense zone destabilizing and said it increased the risk of a military “miscalculation.”

China’s military forces in recent days have dispatched Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets, as well as KJ-2000 airborne warning and control aircraft, to the zone to monitor the airspace that is used frequently by U.S. and Japanese military surveillance aircraft.

The United States has said it does not recognize China’s ADIZ, as has Japan’s government.

Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew through the air zone last month but were not shadowed by Chinese interceptor jets.

Chinese naval and air forces also have been pressing Japan in the East China Sea over Tokyo’s purchase a year ago of several uninhabited Senkaku Islands located north of Taiwan and south of Okinawa.

China is claiming the islands, which it calls the Diaoyu. They are believed to contain large undersea reserves of natural gas and oil.

The Liaoning, China’s first carrier that was refitted from an old Soviet carrier, and four warships recently conducted their first training maneuvers in the South China Sea. The carrier recently docked at the Chinese naval port of Hainan on the South China Sea.

Defense officials have said China’s imposition of the ADIZ is aimed primarily at curbing surveillance flights in the zone, which China’s military regards as a threat to its military secrets.

The U.S. military conducts surveillance flights with EP-3 aircraft and long-range RQ-4 Global Hawk drones.

In addition to the Liaoning, Chinese warships in the flotilla include two missile destroyers, the Shenyang and the Shijiazhuang, and two missile frigates, the Yantai and the Weifang.

Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert, said it is likely that the Chinese deliberately staged the incident as part of a strategy of pressuring the United States.

“They can afford to lose an LST [landing ship] as they have about 27 of them, but they are also usually armed with one or more twin 37 millimeter cannons, which at close range could heavily damage a lightly armored U.S. Navy destroyer,” said Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

Most Chinese Navy large combat ships would be out-ranged by the 127-millimeter guns deployed on U.S. cruisers, except China’s Russian-made Sovremenny-class ships and Beijing’s new Type 052D destroyers that are armed with 130-millimeter guns.

The encounter appears to be part of a pattern of Chinese political signaling that it will not accept the presence of American military power in its East Asian theater of influence, Fisher said.

“China has spent the last 20 years building up its Navy and now feels that it can use it to obtain its political objectives,” he said.

Fisher said that since early 2012 China has gone on the offensive in both the South China and East China Seas.

“In this early stage of using its newly acquired naval power, China is posturing and bullying, but China is also looking for a fight, a battle that will cow the Americans, the Japanese, and the Filipinos,” he said.

To maintain stability in the face of Chinese military assertiveness, Fisher said the United States and Japan should seek an armed peace in the region by heavily fortifying the Senkaku Islands and the rest of the island chain they are part of.

“The U.S. and Japan should also step up their rearmament of the Philippines,” Fisher said.

The Cowpens incident is the most recent example of Chinese naval aggressiveness toward U.S. ships.

The U.S. intelligence-gathering ship, USNS Impeccable, came under Chinese naval harassment from a China Maritime Surveillance ship, part of Beijing’s quasi-military maritime patrol craft, in June.

During that incident, the Chinese ship warned the Navy ship it was operating illegally despite sailing in international waters. The Chinese demanded that the ship first obtain permission before sailing in the area that was more than 100 miles from China’s coast.

The U.S. military has been stepping up surveillance of China’s naval forces, including the growing submarine fleet, as part of the U.S. policy of rebalancing forces to the Pacific.

The Impeccable was harassed in March 2009 by five Chinese ships that followed it and sprayed it with water hoses in an effort to thwart its operations.

A second spy ship, the USNS Victorious, also came under Chinese maritime harassment several years ago.

Adm. Samuel Locklear, when asked last summer about increased Chinese naval activities near Guam and Hawaii in retaliation for U.S. ship-based spying on China, said the dispute involves different interpretations of controlled waters.

Locklear said in a meeting with reporters in July, “We believe the U.S. position is that those activities are less constrained than what the Chinese believe.”

China is seeking to control large areas of international waters—claiming they are part of its United Nations-defined economic exclusion zone—that Locklear said cover “most of the major sea lines of communication” near China and are needed to remain free for trade and shipping.

Locklear, who is known for his conciliatory views toward the Chinese military, sought to play down recent disputes. When asked if the Chinese activities were troubling, he said: “I would say it’s not provocative certainly. I’d say that in the Asia-Pacific, in the areas that are closer to the Chinese homeland, that we have been able to conduct operations around each other in a very professional and increasingly professional manner.”

The Pentagon and U.S. Pacific Command have sought to develop closer ties to the Chinese military as part of the Obama administration’s Asia pivot policies.

However, China’s military has shown limited interest in closer ties.

China’s state-controlled news media regularly report that the United States is seeking to defeat China by encircling the country with enemies while promoting dissidents within who seek the ouster of the communist regime.

The Obama administration has denied it is seeking to “contain” China and has insisted it wants continued close economic and diplomatic relations.

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to seek a new type of major power relationship during a summit in California earlier this year. However, the exact nature of the new relationship remains unclear.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: adiz; china; chinesemilitary; chinesenavy; energy; maritime; naturalgas; oil; philippines; redchina; shipmovement; usnavy
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1 posted on 12/13/2013 2:57:59 AM PST by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Obama would not back any naval officer engaged in a serious confrontation with the Chinese and that has to color any decisions made in theatre.


2 posted on 12/13/2013 3:06:30 AM PST by Truth29
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To: markomalley
For reference:

A PLAN tank landing ship:

The USS Cowpens:

Place your bets...

3 posted on 12/13/2013 3:11:12 AM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: Truth29
Obama would not back any naval officer engaged in a serious confrontation with the Chinese and that has to color any decisions made in theatre.

Let's face it...after the Catalina Island incident, they'd have to nuke us repeatedly before Obama would admit to "tension."

4 posted on 12/13/2013 3:13:26 AM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: markomalley

It has taken a decade and a half but now we are seeing the chickens sold to China by the treasonous Bill and Hillary Clinton for illicit campaign funds, “are coming home to roost!”

For the low information Clinton supporters that would be the missile guidance systems and super computing.

The Progressives making the world safer for communism one sell out at a time.


5 posted on 12/13/2013 3:14:11 AM PST by urbanpovertylawcenter (the law and poverty collide in an urban setting and sparks fly)
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To: markomalley

The world leaders are ROTFLTAO at anything mac daddy does or says.

His word are totally worthless with never ending lies.

He is the biggest joke in the world.


6 posted on 12/13/2013 3:14:56 AM PST by chiefqc
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To: markomalley
d@nm how much we've fallen since pResident 0'B@$t@$D's
tenure in the White Hut and we still 3 g*d awful years left..
d@nm, d@mn our cowardly Congressional Ldrs, d@mn 'em all.

7 posted on 12/13/2013 3:28:16 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi :-)
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To: markomalley

U. S.: We protest.

China: Whatev.


8 posted on 12/13/2013 3:29:57 AM PST by savedbygrace (But God!)
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To: markomalley

Ramming speed!


9 posted on 12/13/2013 3:32:27 AM PST by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12----No king but Christ! Don't tread on me!)
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To: chiefqc
The world leaders are ROTFLTAO at anything mac daddy does or says. His word are totally worthless with never ending lies. He is the biggest joke in the world.

Indeed they are and indeed he is.

10 posted on 12/13/2013 3:32:36 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Little Pig

So, take that “funny” looking gun on the front of the ship and start firing across the bow of that POS.

If that doesn’t cause them to back off then maybe an accidental hole or two in the water line of the PLAN would be a rather distinct message.


11 posted on 12/13/2013 3:33:42 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: markomalley

Reporting this should be good for 200+ on the Dow.


12 posted on 12/13/2013 3:36:15 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks markomalley.


13 posted on 12/13/2013 3:39:25 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: markomalley

FON is not just for air defense zones that obama capitulates to

look at what happened to us when Bubba’s foreign policy was see no evil, take no meaningful action


14 posted on 12/13/2013 3:41:47 AM PST by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: stylecouncilor; windcliff

Cowpens ping.


15 posted on 12/13/2013 3:43:19 AM PST by onedoug
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To: chiefqc
The world leaders are ROTFLTAO at anything mac daddy does or says. His word are totally worthless with never ending lies. He is the biggest joke in the world.

The people who financed the clown known as Obama are really quite pleased. Americans don't have a clue what Obama is doing and why; even though everything he is doing is being done right in front of them.

Hussein Obama has run up $trillions in new debt.

Hussein Obama has shut down numerous coal fired electric power plants under the guise of global warming (or climate change if you are really gullible) which has led to record high electric rates

Hussein Obama is attacking Christianity in every way he can but especially through his Obamacare.

Speaking of Obamacare, it is obviously designed to cause economic hardship to the country, not improve healthcare in any way.

etc.

So why would a guy named Hussein want to hurt the US in almost everything he does? Rush Limbaugh, one of the biggest fools in history, thinks Hussein Obama hurts America because he has a leftist chip on his shoulder from his youth.

It all comes down to whether you can think or not, who is Hussein Obama and why is he viciously trying to hurt America? The answer is on the level of DUHHHHH! Can you think or do you let the presstitutes tell you the answers to everything?

16 posted on 12/13/2013 3:47:13 AM PST by politicianslie (Our first Muslim President laughs at you. Are you waiting for NBC to tell you who he is?)
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To: markomalley; C. Edmund Wright

Free Trade - BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA....


17 posted on 12/13/2013 3:49:02 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: markomalley

China’s testing our current Rules of Engagement.


18 posted on 12/13/2013 3:51:01 AM PST by AU72
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To: C. Edmund Wright

My guess you are pulling for the Chinese in this deal...


19 posted on 12/13/2013 3:52:15 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: urbanpovertylawcenter
China has had it's way with the U.S. since 1989. Trade deals with China became more important to POTUS than our own sovereignty and national defense.
20 posted on 12/13/2013 3:53:41 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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