- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
Inside the Ring: China warship grounded
A Chinese warship recently ran aground in the South China Sea, an embarrassing incident that has highlighted international tensions over Beijing’s increasing military power and disputes among China’s neighbors.
Inside the Ring obtained the first photograph of the Chinese ship that was beached July 7 and stranded for 10 days. The photo was taken by a Philippines military photographer during a flight over the disputed Half Moon Shoal that both Beijing and Manila claim as their maritime territory. The shoal sits astride a key strategic waterway about 70 miles from the Philippines island province of Palawan.
Tensions have been mounting in the South China Sea as China systematically has stepped up claims to sovereignty over almost the entire resource-rich sea, prompting the U.S. government to worry that current Cold War-style maritime disputes could turn hot.
“We are concerned by the increase in tensions in the South China Sea and are monitoring the situation closely,” he said, noting troubling signs that include more confrontational rhetoric, disagreements over resources and several incidents.
“In particular, China’s upgrading of the administrative level of Sansha City and establishment of a new military garrison there covering disputed areas of the South China Sea run counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and risk further escalating tensions in the region,” Mr. Ventrell said.
China reacted to the statement by calling in the U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Robert S. Wang to protest.
China denounced the U.S. statement, saying it “completely ignored the facts, deliberately confounded right and wrong and sent a seriously wrong signal, which is not conducive to the efforts safeguarding peace and stability of the South China Sea and the Asia Pacific region.”
The Chinese urged the United States to “immediately correct the wrong behavior, earnestly respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and do more things which are truly beneficial to the stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific.”
Regarding the grounded warship, one Philippines official said the photo showed “the bully that ran aground.”
The ship was identified as the Hainan Island-based Dongguan. Days before it ran aground, the ship fired its deck guns at three Philippines fishing boats near Jackson Atoll in the disputed Spratlys Island chain.
Philippines officials also said the Dongguan was involved in other harassment incidents against Filipino fishing vessels.
According to Richard Fisher, a Chinese military affairs specialist, the Dongguan recently was upgraded with YJ-83 anti-ship cruise missiles, which have a range of 155 miles. It also has a new stealthy, infrared-suppressing exhaust stack.
After the Dongguan ran aground, five or six Chinese ships sailed to aid the stranded vessel. It was freed 10 days later.
A Philippines navy BN-2A Islander patrol aircraft then flew over the ship and took photos of the frigate and a Jiangwei-II class frigate that sailed to the area to provide support.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- IRS pays tax cheats hundreds of millions of dollars
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- EDITORIAL: Al Gore, soothsayer
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow