Monday, October 26, 2015

US Navy Destroyer to Pass Closer Than 12 Miles From Chinese Artificial Islands in South China Sea

The U.S. Navy plans to send the USS Lassen destroyer within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea within 24 hours, the first of more regular challenges to China's territorial claims, a U.S. defense official said on Monday.

The destroyer's patrol would occur near Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago, features that were formerly submerged at high tide before China began a massive dredging project to turn them into islands in 2014.

The ship would likely be accompanied by a U.S. Navy P-8A surveillance plane, and possibly P-3 surveillance plane, which have been conducting regular surveillance missions in the region, according to the official.

The patrol will mark the most serious U.S. challenge yet to the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit China claims around the islands, and follows months of deliberation.

Additional patrols could follow in coming weeks, the official said.


This is supposed to happen in the next 24 hours.


3de8af9a-85a1-11e4-b784-0b02f2c1f23a said...

Because games of international chicken are just so thrilling?

Will Baird said...

These things happened daily, even multiple times per day during the Cold War, yungin. ;)

3de8af9a-85a1-11e4-b784-0b02f2c1f23a said...

That's true! Makes for great movies after the fact too :D.

Will Baird said...

heh. Not quite as dramatic as Clancy made them.

The Soviet Union and US Navies used to bump ships on a regular basis. Literally bump ships into each other. The Black Sea was one of their favorite playgrounds for this.