China says U.S. Provoked Naval Confrontation

The U.S. had lodged a complaint against China, saying five of its ships harassed a U.S. surveillance vessel in the South China Sea. China says the American ship was conducting illegal activities.

By Don Lee
LA Times
March 11, 2009

Reporting from Shanghai -- China blamed the United States on Tuesday for a naval confrontation in the South China Sea over the weekend, contending that an American surveillance vessel was illegally conducting activities in China's special economic zone.

The U.S. Defense Department had complained that five Chinese ships surrounded and harassed the Impeccable, a submarine-surveillance ship, in international waters on Sunday. The Chinese boats dropped wood debris in the Impeccable's path, and one of the ships came within 25 feet of the unarmed U.S. vessel, the Pentagon said, calling the actions dangerous, unprofessional and in violation of international law. ...

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