While everyone was laser focused on the drama around the Supreme Court….there was an incident in the South China Sea that may be just a fluke or the precursor of things to come……..
A tense encounter unfolded Sunday between US and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea. Per CNN, the American destroyer USS Decatur was aggressively approached by a Chinese warship while conducting what are called freedom of navigation operations in the Spratly Islands. in a statement, Capt. Charles Brown with the US Pacific Fleet said a Chinese Luyang destroyer approached the US vessel in an “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuver. According to CBS News, the Chinese vessel came with 45 yards of the Decatur, a dangerous proximity that forced the Decatur to maneuver away in order to prevent a collision.
The encounter is an extreme example of the recent tense US-China relations in the region. Just last week, China refused a request for the US Navy’s amphibious assault ship, the USS Wasp, to dock in Hong Kong next month. In spite of these and other setbacks, including his own canceled state visit to Beijing, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday that US-China relations are not worsening, per the AP. “There’s tension points in the relationship, but based on discussions coming out of New York last week and other things that we have coming up, we do not see it getting worse,” Mattis told reporters in Paris. “We’ll sort this out.” Back in the Pacific, Capt. Brown affirmed that US forces will continue to operate “anywhere international law allows.”
Is this an accident or is it something to do with our trade war with China?
Does anyone remember Tonkin incident?
WE should have known something was up…..
Defense Secretary James Mattis is downplaying the mounting tensions between the US and China, saying he doesn’t expect ties to worsen any further. The signs are, however, that the situation is still getting worse.
On Monday, China announced that they are cancelling the annual high-ranking US-China security meeting in Beijing. This was supposed to see Mattis meeting top Chinese military officers, but Mattis’ visit has been cancelled.