With the recent deployment of China's air defenze zone, and the subsequent announcement of a comparable zone by South Korea which overlaps not only with China's own, but with that of Japan, it almost seems like a scenario designed to provoke an escalating conflict on the tiniest of provocations is actively being produced. A scenario such as the one US defense officials revealed today, when a guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese navy ship maneuvering nearby.
Hold on: how can two massive ships, visible to the naked eye and certainly to radar from hundreds of miles away, "nearly collide"?
Reuters reports that the incident took place on December 5 and involved the USS Cowpens. The Pacific Fleet statement did not offer details about what led to the near-collision.