- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Navy has assigned a heavily armed destroyer to escort the U.S. surveillance ship that got into a high-seas confrontation with Chinese ships last weekend.

A defense official says the Hawaii-based destroyer “Chung-Hoon” is keeping a close eye on the unarmed sub-hunting ship “Impeccable” as it continues operations in the South China Sea. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive ship movements.

The official says the escort ship joined the Impeccable on Wednesday.

China has demanded that the United States quit surveillance work in a disputed area far off the Chinese coastline. U.S. officials say they won’t back off.

The Chung-Hoon is among the Navy’s newest and most sophisticated warships. It joined the fleet in 2004.


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