- The Washington Times - Friday, April 15, 2016

A new op-ed published by the Global Times, the mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, claims that Russia “humiliated” an “arrogant” United States when its warplanes buzzed a U.S. Navy ship in the Baltic Sea earlier this week.

The U.S. European Command released video footage of two Sukhoi Su-24 jets conducting repeated close passes near the USS Donald Cook guided-missile destroyer, which was located about 70 nautical miles away from Russian territory.

The planes repeatedly buzzed the ship as the crew failed to communicate with the pilots. The planes flew under the ship’s navigation bridge and even came within 30 feet of the destroyer.

The U.S. described the incident as a “simulated attack,” and lodged a formal diplomatic complaint with Moscow on Thursday. 

However, the Global Times editorial published Friday characterizes the fly-bys as a major blow to America’s military prestige. 

“The Russia pilots have demonstrated high professional skills to conduct such extremely dangerous maneuvers,” the editorial states. “The US military, which intends to provoke Russia in the Baltic Sea, was humiliated by its Russian counterpart instead. The US must feel furious.” 

The editorial describes the Russian fighter jets as an “embodiment of Putin,” who has repeatedly challenged Washington. 

“His response to the arrogant US pressure has helped reach an asymmetric strategic balance between Russia and the US,” the editorial states. 

The piece goes on to say that both China and Russia face pressure from Washington, but their relationships with the U.S. are different. 

“The Sino-US relationship is gigantic in scale, featuring both cooperation and competition. As in practicing taichi, China has many flexible ways to tackle issues with the US,” the article states.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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