Friday, December 13, 2013

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part XLIX

A little shoulder now and then is OK; we've been down this road before with much more at stake.

Everyone Year-Group 1991 and younger take a powder;
“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.”
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.

China is, near what she considers her waters, an insecure bully. Everyone here remembers the EP-3 incident from the dawn of the last decade. These things happen now and then - and will happen more often as China continues to stretch her reach.

It is up to us to do a few things, as we are the ones along with the Russians who have a lot of experience at this bit of maritime posturing. Calm but firm in our resolve should be the baseline.

1. Do not give in. If you surrender anything to the Chinese, they will consider that theirs forever - and will only be encouraged to reach more. From ADIZ, to FON-OPS, to snoop'n around her ships - we need to do it early and often.
2. Get together as soon as opportunity presents itself to get a USA-CHN INCSEA Agreement in place and in practice.
3. Video tape everything .... and take the first hit.

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