Roughead, who was commander of U.S. naval forces in the Pacific before he replaced Adm. Mike Mullen as chief of naval operations on Sept. 29, said he was even more troubled by China's refusal, several days before the Kitty Hawk incident, to let two U.S. Navy minesweepers enter Hong Kong harbor to escape an approaching storm and receive fuel. The minesweepers, the Patriot and the Guardian, were instead refueled at sea and returned safely to their home port in Japan, he said.That isn't just a slap in the face. Take it for the warning it is - the Chinese are not our friends.
"As someone who has been going to sea all my life, if there is one tenet that we observe it's when somebody is in need you provide (assistance) and you sort it out later," the admiral said. "And that, to me, was more bothersome, so I look forward to having discussions with the PLA navy leadership," he said, referring to the People's Liberation Army.
Keating made a similar point. He called the denial in the case of the minesweeping ships "a different kettle of fish for us - in some ways more disturbing, more perplexing" than the Kitty Hawk case because the Chinese action violated an unwritten international code for assisting ships in distress.
Hat tip The Tank.