In China’s latest attempt to exert their military power over the United States, news broke this morning that a Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters earlier this month.
The USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser that was helping with disaster relief efforts in the Philippines, was challenged by Chinese warships in international waters in the South China Sea.
The USS Cowpens was forced to take evasive maneuvers after the Chinese warships boxed in the cruiser and ordered it to stop. According to officials, a Chinese naval vessel sailed right in front of the Cowpens and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course to avoid a collision.
This is just the latest in a long string of Chinese military provocations that have received very little mainstream media attention. In fact, last month the Chinese military released, through their State run media, detailed plans on how they can attack the entire United States with strategic nuclear weapons.
The State controlled Chinese news agencies broadcast over 30 graphics that detailed the People’s Liberation Army navy’s ability to strategically nuke Seattle, Los Angeles and the entire Northeastern Coast of the United States.
The encounter was the type of incident that senior Pentagon officials recently warned could take place as a result of heightened tensions in the region over China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently called China’s new air defense zone destabilizing and said it increased the risk of a military “miscalculation.”
China’s military forces in recent days have dispatched Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets, as well as KJ-2000 airborne warning and control aircraft, to the zone to monitor the airspace that is used frequently by U.S. and Japanese military surveillance aircraft.
The United States has said it does not recognize China’s ADIZ, as has Japan’s government.
Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew through the air zone last month but were not shadowed by Chinese interceptor jets.
Chinese naval and air forces also have been pressing Japan in the East China Sea over Tokyo’s purchase a year ago of several uninhabited Senkaku Islands located north of Taiwan and south of Okinawa.
China is claiming the islands, which it calls the Diaoyu. They are believed to contain large undersea reserves of natural gas and oil.