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Chinese Navy Harasses US Low-Frequency Active Sonar Ship Near Chinese Base

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The USS Impeccable, one of two US Navy long-range Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) surveillance ships deployed in the western Pacific, was repeatedly harassed by Chinese Navy and other Chinese ships during March. The Chinese attempted to snag the towed array cables with poles, and to obstruct the ship’s passage by dropping wood in the water and buzzing it with its ships. The incidents took place 75 miles offshore from Hainan Island, site of a key Chinese submarine base; China claims sovereignty of its entire 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, while the US recognizes only the 12-mile territorial water limit, and insists the Impeccable was therefore operating legally in international waters. While the Impeccable is well-documented as one of the US Navy’s two LFAS ships designed specifically for monitoring quiet submarines, and deployed in areas where they can keep tabs on Chinese and North Korean navies, some press reports seemed to downplay or obfuscate this; for example the BBC report said that the Impeccable’s sonar is used to “map the ocean floor.” Sources: American Chronicle, 3/22/09 [READ ARTICLE] BBC, 3/10/09 [READ ARTICLE] SEE US NAVY VIDEOS OF THE INCIDENTS [YOUTUBE]

One Response to “Chinese Navy Harasses US Low-Frequency Active Sonar Ship Near Chinese Base”

  1. » Blog Archive » China Continues Pushback Against Lurking LFAS Ship Says:

    […] China has been actively complaining about the presence of the USNS Impeccable off its coast (see earlier AEInews coverage).  This week, the “Bejing Review,” an English-language weekly, ran a story on the […]