Yesterday’s reported incident between the USNS Impeccable and several ships in the Chinese Navy appears to have started a war of words, with National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said that China “seems to be in a more military, aggressive” stance and declared the incident “the most serious” since the April 2001 collision between a Chinese plane and a US spy plane.
DIA director Lieutenant General Michael Maples warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that China was strengthening its ability to conduct military operations along its periphery, and said they have been acquiring sophisticated air defenses from Russia.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry rejected accusations that their ships behaved recklessly and insisted that the Impeccable “broke international and Chinese laws in the South China Sea.” The ship was reportedly conducting surveys near the Chinese island of Hainan.
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