A busy Saturday morning in late 2011. The usual commercial mercantile shipping traffic in the diplomatically contested waters off the coast of Taiwan is supplemented by a Chinese Air/Sea rescue operation in search of a local fisherman. Two Chinese merchant ships operating in close formation seem to be generously assisting with the search.
Nothing amiss here, repeat, there is nothing, absolutely nothing amiss here.The request for help from the Taiwanese naval fisheries vessels is turned down as the Chinese widen their search patterns and increase radio traffic as to be expected in a operation of this nature.
The USS Long Island Tea (a guided missile destroyer DDG, above) is discretely observing radar blips and maintaining radio communications with Taiwanese naval patrols. The USS Long Island Tea confirms communication channels to the USN Task Force "CVN Able 7" (see below) operating two hundred miles away are fully functional. Standard heightened peacetime CAP and A/S patrols are in place.
Not much of a post really, must do some wargaming sometime soon. Oh yes just in, a Taiwanese naval frigate reports a "far" acoustic and sonar passive contact, possibly a whale, in international waters, close to but not in Taiwanese waters. Though where these waters officially start is a mute point of current international maritime law and diplomacy. If it was anything other than a whale it might provoke an international incident.