China’s Naughty Act Of War – Snatches U.S. Navy Submarine Drone & Sails Away!!

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Dec 18 2016
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Napolean Bonaparte once said – “China is a sleeping dragon. Let her sleep! If she wakes, she will move the world!” Turns out, the dragon didn’t only shake the world but able to perform some naughty tricks too. Like its economy, the Chinese piracy is a legend – copying and cloning almost everything. Now, the naughty dragon has taken its mischievous to a new level.


An American oceanographic vessel – Bowditch – was operating in international waters about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines to “test the water salinity and temperature.” In what appeared to be a typical occurrence, the U.S. Naval Ship was being shadowed by a Chinese ship – a Dalang 3 class vessel.


If Bowditch had been a destroyer or other warships, the Chinese would not have been so daring – snatching a toy right under the nose of the U.S. Naval Ship commander. Bowditch apparently was retrieving its second underwater drone after gotten their first one. However, before they could do so, the Chinese ship put a smaller boat in the water and snatched it away.


Stunned, the U.S. naval vessel called and established “bridge-to-bridge” communications with the Chinese warship, about 500 yards away, demanding the return of the drone. Ignoring radio demands from the Americans, the Chinese ship sailed off instead. Furious, the Pentagon has officially demanded the return of their property seized by China.


Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said – “It’s ours, it was clearly marked, we want it back, and we don’t want this to happen again,” China’s foreign ministry on Saturday acknowledged that the incident had taken place, but has declined to give any details about why the Chinese navy had seized the drone and what it planned to do with it.


Valued at approximately US$150,000, the Pentagon said the bright yellow and about 5 to 10 feet long drone – known as an “ocean glider” – is one of many the U.S. Navy uses around the world to collect bathymetric data from the sea, along with data on the water’s salinity, temperature and current flow. The data collected is often used to help U.S. submarines navigate.


But the submarine drone isn’t any ordinary military gadget. Also known as a Littoral Battlespace Sensing glider, it was developed for the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or SPAWAR, and has been deployed on several ships of the same class as the Bowditch. The U.S. Navy uses the technology to listen for and track foreign submarines.


Therefore, it makes perfect sense when the Chinese took the opportunity to seize the U.S. submarine drone.  The South China Sea has been an area of particular interest because of China’s expanding submarine capabilities. The country has one of its largest submarine bases on Hainan Island, and has sent attack submarines through those waters and into the Indian Ocean.


Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook described the ocean-glider drone as “a sovereign immune vessel of the United States” and said China had acted unlawfully in seizing it. But Beijing might have a different idea altogether. Not only the Chinese treats the drone as a piece of spying gadget, they also wants to study its technology, capability and the data that it captured.


This is not the first time that China has seized U.S. military equipment. In 2001, less than 3 months after George W Bush took office, a collision between a U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane and a Chinese Shenyang J-8 fighter jet led to the Chinese impounding the US aircraft and its 24 crew for 2 weeks before the diplomatic incident was resolved.


By the time the EP-3 spy plane was returned to the United States, the Chinese military had thoroughly stripped and examined the aircraft’s equipment. Although the U.S. crew members tried to destroy sensitive items and data on board the aircraft before being captured and interrogated, it was only partially successful.


In addition to paying for the dismantling and shipping of the EP-3, the United States under Bush administration was also billed for the 11 days of food and lodging supplied by the Chinese government to the U.S. crew members captured – amounting to US$34,567.89. Likewise, the submarine drone seized could suffer a similar fate – stripped, dismantled and examined before being returned.


China Defence ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said – “We had to examine and verify the device in a bid to avoid any harm it might cause to the safety of navigation and personnel.” He also said China was strongly opposed to such reconnaissance activities and it was highly inappropriate for the US to make a fuss over the incident. He added that the drone would be returned “in an appropriate manner”.


Coincidently, the Chinese action, which some said is tantamount to an act of war, occurred days after President-elect Donald J. Trump provoked China’s anger by suggesting his administration could abandon “One China” policy. It also came after revelation that China had installed anti-aircraft weapons on all 7 of its reclaimed islands in the South China Sea.


Clearly, the seizure of the submarine drone was a deliberate act by Beijing to see the reaction from Trump. On top of recognizing Taiwan and slapping tariffs up to 45% on import from China, would Trump really go for a war with China if Beijing decides to do more than snatching a U.S. military gadget, such as lobbing a missile at U.S. warships sailing near Chinese reclaimed islands?


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How did Japan surface up to the top from the ashes of WW2 ? Did it not started off as a copycat with its cheap plastic wares not that too long ago ? Ditto for Taiwan too. By the by those colonial powers of the good olde days…did they not exploit the natives in the lands they colonized and plunder these hapless third worlds of their produce ? That’s how success stories begin. China, after shutting itself behind the bamboo curtain ( maybe to shake off the opium addiction ? lol) has to make a start somewhere too….which begun when their leader then Deng Xiaoping proclaimed white or black cat doesn’t matter as long as it catches the tikus.

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