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Chinese ships harass Navy vessel: US

Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.

"This was a reckless, dangerous maneuver that was unprofessional" and violated international law, Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

The State Department said it had protested to Chinese authorities over the incident which occurred on Sunday in the South China Sea, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Hainan Island.

"The (US) embassy in Beijing lodged a protest with the Chinese at the weekend," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood There are have been several people named Robert Wood:
  • Robert E. Wood, Brigadier General and chairman of Sears;
  • Robert Coldwell Wood, U.S. administrator;
  • Robert Wood (Australian politician), Australian politician;
 on Monday.

"We felt our vessel was inappropriately harassed. That was the point of our protest to the Chinese government Ever since Republic of China founded in January 1st, 1912, China has had several regional and national governments. List
  • Chinese Soviet Republic
  • Provisional Government of the Republic of China
  • Reformed Government of the Republic of China

The Chinese ships surrounded the USNS USNS United States Naval Ship (civilian-manned; in service)
USNS United States Navy Seals
 Impeccable, and after two ships Two Ships is a single by the folk duet, The Sallyangie, released in 1969. Track listing
  1. "Two Ships" - (3:16)
  2. "Colours Of The World" - (2:28)
 came within 50 feet (15 meters), waved Chinese flags This is a list of current and historical flags used in the geographic area of China, including both the People's Republic of China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau) and the Republic of China.  and told the Americans to leave the area, the Defense Department said in a statement.

The tension on the high seas high seas

In maritime law, the waters lying outside the territorial waters of any and all states. In the Middle Ages, a number of maritime states asserted sovereignty over large portions of the high seas.
 took an odd turn at one point when the Americans sprayed water at the Chinese boats and the Chinese crew responded by stripping to their underwear.

"Because the vessels' intentions were not known, Impeccable sprayed its fire hoses at one of the vessels in order to protect itself.

"The Chinese crewmembers disrobed to their underwear and continued closing to within 25 feet," said the Pentagon statement.

The Chinese dropped pieces of wood in the path of the American ship and two vessels moved directly in front of the USNS Impeccable, forcing it to take emergency action to avoid collision, it said.

The USNS Impeccable is a surveillance ship that gathers "underwater acoustical data," Whitman said.

The incident followed "increasingly aggressive conduct by Chinese vessels" in the past several days, the Pentagon said.

The Chinese ships included a navy intelligence ship, a government fisheries fisheries. From earliest times and in practically all countries, fisheries have been of industrial and commercial importance. In the large N Atlantic fishing grounds off Newfoundland and Labrador, for example, European and North American fishing fleets have long  patrol vessel, a state oceanographic patrol vessel, and two small Chinese-flagged trawlers, it said.
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Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Mar 9, 2009
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