Chinese Navy officers reacted with annoyance today when it emerged that the United States had sent a destroyer to back up a surveillance vessel in the South China Sea after it was harassed by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sailors.
The decision by President Obama to send an armed escort for US surveillance ships in the area follows the aggressive and co-ordinated manoeuvres of five Chinese boats on Sunday. The vessels harassed and nearly collided with the unarmed USNS Impecccable.
One unidentified officer quoted in the China Daily newspaper said that the decision was disproportionate. While China’s Foreign Ministry has so far kept tight-lipped on the latest development, the decision to run such a comment so swiftly in the state-run English-language newspaper was a signal of Beijing’s concerns.
Rest of story here