Monday, July 21, 2014

China Sends Surveillance Ship To Hawaii In Retaliation To US Navy Build Up In Its Back Yard

Chinese  surveillance ship off the coast of Hawaii.

ZeroHedge reports:

Shortly after China's president Xi Jinping warned that "a conflict between China and United States will definitely be a disaster for the two countries and the world" a seemingly tone-deaf US responded by unleashing even more military forces in China's back yard, and announcing it was developing new military tactics to deter China’s slow but steady territorial advances in the South China Sea, including more aggressive use of surveillance aircraft and naval operations near contested areas. The message was clear: pleasantries are great, but immediately halt any territorial ambitions which impact American allies in the region.
Well, China responded, but not in the way that the US may have wanted. According to Bloomberg, China sent a surveillance vessel to waters off Hawaii even as the country participated for the first time in the world’s largest international naval exercise led by the U.S. As of Friday, the ship was operating south of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, near the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) carrier strike group (CSG) and the main body of the 50 ships participating in the exercise, several sources confirmed to USNI News. 
The auxiliary general intelligence ship is outside U.S. territorial seas, yet within the 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, Captain Darryn James, chief spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The vessel is not associated with the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, or Rimpac, that’s now under way, he said... 
Needless to say, the US is displeased:
“It sends a bad signal,” said Ben Schreer, a senior analyst for defense strategy at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra. “There was a lot of good will on the American side that said ‘despite what you have been doing in the East and South China Sea recently, we invited you to this prestigious exercise and what you do is blatantly put this spy ship in the area.’ ”

China has been been taking a more assertive stance in territorial spats with Japan in the East China Sea and the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea, which has raised tensions in the region.

“This is not the first time we’ve been under surveillance while we’re operating or exercising,” said Per Rostad, commanding officer of the Royal Norwegian Navy’s Fridtjof Nansen. “However, one might say it’s a bit novel when you participate in an exercise with participating units,” said Rostad, who worked alongside the Chinese navy to transport chemical weapons from Syria.
China slipped an uninvited guest into the world’s largest naval exercise.  The U.S. invited four ships from China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to the Rim of the Pacific 2014 exercise — a move that was hailed as a sign of improved military-to-military relations between the two countries.

But China also sent an electronic surveillance ship designed to monitor signals from the ships, right to the edges of the exercise.

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