GAMESMANSHIP

US Navy Faces Off with Chinese Ships

Trouble at sea: The US government has filed a formal complaint with China, saying its boats harassed Navy ships patrolling international waters off the Chinese coast. It seems the Chinese have taken to pestering US ships by impeding their path, blinding crews with a bright spotlight, and buzzing them with surveillance craft. In an episode that reads like a bizarre game of maritime chicken, the crew of the USNS Impeccable blasted one of a group of Chinese ships that surrounded it with a fire hose. In response, the Chinese crew stripped to its underwear, did not move, and narrowly avoided a collision. Just in the past week, the US has documented five cases that the Pentagon describes as “increasingly aggressive conduct” by Chinese ships.