Unlike the collision of the U.S. EP-3 surveillance aircraft and the Chinese fighter plane that took place almost exactly 8 years ago, this was no an accident. Instead of a single hotshot pilot, flying beyond the limits of his skill, in this case five small Chinese craft acted in concert to intercept and harass a U.S. vessel. This was a deliberate provocation, almost certainly authorized at the highest levels, intended to probe the reflexes and responses of the new U.S. administration. It was also the latest in a series of attempts by Beijing to assert its claim to restrict what it regards as hostile activity up to 200 miles from its coasts (the extent of its so-called "Exclusive Economic Zone") rather than only out to the edge of its internationally recognized 12-mile territorial waters.
Posted by Steve S at 8:49 PM
Some think it's just happened: