|China says U.S. Naval ship broke the law
By Chris Buckley
BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Tuesday that a U.S. Navy ship involved in a confrontation with its fleet off
the southern island of Hainan had violated international and Chinese laws.
Washington had urged China to observe international maritime rules after the Pentagon said five Chinese ships,
including a naval vessel, harassed the USNS Impeccable in international waters on Sunday.
"The U.S. claims are gravely in contravention of the facts and confuse black and white and they are totally
unacceptable to China," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a regular news briefing.
But the confrontation was unlikely to do lasting damage to ties between two countries as they combat the global
economic slump, a Chinese analyst in Beijing said.
Global oil prices rose 3 percent on Monday and held above $47 a barrel on Tuesday, partly on jitters about
tension between the world's top oil consumers.
Denny Roy, a U.S.-based expert on Asia-Pacific security, said the confrontation did not appear accidental, and
was rather China's way of sending a message to Washington that it wanted respect for its growing military
reach in the region.
"I don't think this happened spontaneously," said Roy, of the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, "No
doubt it had the endorsement of central leaders in Beijing."
The latest row suggests Beijing will take a tougher stance as its naval ambitions grow, said analyst Shi Yinhong.