Joshua PollackCollision at Sea

A few days ago, CNN reported that a Chinese submarine had collided with the towed sonar array of a USN destroyer.

The AP now reports confirmation of the incident by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The American side has yet to acknowledge it, according to Stars & Stripes.

Perhaps now would be a good time to start U.S.-Chinese talks on an incidents-at-sea agreement. Before the PLA Navy* sends nuclear weapons out to sea, that is.

X-posted from TW.

*Update: PLA Navy (or PLAN) = People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Update II: The WSJ and AP report that U.S. and Chinese defense officials have agreed to discussions on avoiding military incidents at sea. The talks will start in July.


  1. FSB
  2. raghar (History)

    What is this doing on a peacenick site?

    US ship was mucking in the Mindoro straits, Chinese submarine was mucking in the Mindoro straits. Towed arrays are hard to see, so the submarine slammed into the array.

    Basically the reasons are purely economic, China is trying to reassert itself into the area and get back parts of its lost interests.

    “Under the baseline law, Scarborough shoal is part of Philippine territory classified as a “regime of islands.” Inclusion of the shoal in Philippine territory was protested by China which also claims the shoal as well as the whole of South China Sea.”

    BTW It looks like the US ship went too close.

  3. john (History)

    what is the pla navy?

  4. John Bragg (History)

    It’s not a purely peacenik site—it’s an arms control site. It skews peacenik, because one reason for arms control advocacy is pure peacemongering. However, arms control can also be a means of conflict management, seeking advantages for your side and seeking to impose disadvantages on your opponents (or at least get them to give up advantages).

    In this case, creating an Incidents at Sea regime would be a way to prevent an inadvertent conflict. Which even the Bismarcks and Ghengis Khans would have to favor—what’s the point of laying out a secret 17-point plan for world domination if you get into an unintended war with the Italo-Latvian Hegemony 12 steps early?

  5. FSB

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